Within the city limits of San Francisco, there are only six wind-energy turbines, including three on private homes. However, under a new directive from Mayor Gavin Newsom, this number may soon quickly increase. Issued on July 17, Executive Directive 08-08, “Wind Power,” could make San Francisco the new “Windy City.”

Proponents of urban wind power say progress was slow due to the lack of a standard turbine-permit application process. The executive directive orders the Department of Building Inspection and Planning Department to “expedite permitting and minimize costs for the installation of residential, commercial, and municipal wind generation turbines in the city.”

In addition to streamlining the permitting process, Newsom's directive also calls for city departments to incorporate wind turbines into city facilities “whenever and wherever possible.” Currently, there are no wind turbines operating on municipal buildings or city-owned land.

To download a pdf of Executive Directive 08-08, visit Mayor Gavin Newsom's Web site at http://www.sfgov.org/site/uploadedfiles/mayor/press/2008/Executive%20Directive%2008-08%20Wind%20Power.pdf.