Ryan-at-rain-in-drive-bay-1024x682How do you tune a huge turbine to the forces of nature and help deploy the next generation of green-energy machines? Charleston. It’s a city where history loops forward. Where an iron-hulled Civil War submarine, the H. L. Hunley, an engineering marvel of her time, slowly surrenders to science the secrets of her last fateful hours at sea. Charleston is also a city built in part by the wind. In the early 1700s, Dutch engineers came to the Lowcountry to erect windmills, engineering marvels of their time. From Cape Romain to Edisto Island, coastal breezes spun the lacy blades above the landscape, milling the pine and cypress lumber from which Charleston would rise.Today, you can walk a few steps from the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where the Hunley steeps in a chemical broth that will leach away her salts and preserve her hull, and enter a space-age, hangar-size building fitted out with enough high-tech hardware to incubate a new generation of engineering marvels: futuristic wind machines. These turbines will not mill pine or cypress. They will not grind corn. But they could spin Charleston full circle and make it, once again, a city attuned to the wind. If things here in North Charleston go according to plan, no other city in the United States will have a better chance to help put the wind back to work—and not just as a marginal player in a carbon-laden energy market. Wind power, our engineers tell us, has serious, big-time potential. One large turbine, well sited and engineered, could supply the entire Charleston peninsula with power. Imagine what dozens or hundreds could do. Link to article (glimpse, Spring 2015)