The National Park Service has proposed installing a wind turbine on San Francisco's historic Cliff House.
A 31-foot tall wind turbine could be created as early as July 1 on the southwest corner of the observation deck, outside Sutro's restaurant. If the wind turbine is approved it would operate for a three year test period.
The turbine would allow the site to generate its own electricity by using the wind from the Pacific Ocean. It's expected to produce enough energy to solely power the Cliff House Gift Shop.
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Advocates voiced concerns about the aesthetics of the new energy source, given the turbine would be nine feet taller than the historic building. Although a the energy-producing structure is quieter, slower and generates more power than a windmill, some guests worry it would compromise the beauty of the restaurant or block the view of the bay.
Animal rights activists also asked for assurance that the turbine would be safe for local creatures. The National Park Service told the Ocean Beach Bulletin that they would stop the test operation if a bird was harmed.
Most patrons, however, believed that the wind turbine was a step in the right direction for energy efficiency.
"As long as it's out of the way and inconspicuous and doesn't block the view, I don't see how it would cause harm," resident Michel Carr told The Examiner.
The wind turbine is the latest in a series of plans to make the Cliff House more energy efficient. In 2010, the building won the Carbon Cutter Award for installing green vent exhaust management and replacing the refrigerator gasket.
First built in 1863, the Cliff House has enjoyed a long and vibrant history as one of San Francisco's most cherished historic sites.
Have an opinion about the wind turbine? The National Park Service is seeking public input. Email Alexandra_Picavet@nps.gov, call (415) 786-8021 or write to GGNRA, 201 Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA 94123.
In the mean time, scroll through the slideshow below for other energy-efficient businesses in the area:
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