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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wind turbine installed at school

From an article by Charles Menchaca in the Wausau Daily Herald:

System will generate about 8 percent of East High's electricity

Wausau East High School on Wednesday received a 155-foot-tall addition to its campus, one that will help save money and help students be part of the green revolution, educators said.

Technicians erected the first of two wind turbines on the school grounds. Students, school staff members and curious residents watched the construction throughout the day.

The first structure, known as the Northwind 100, will generate 100 kilowatts of power and has a rotor diameter of 21 meters. It is the largest wind turbine in Marathon County and the first of its kind on Wisconsin public school property, Wausau East science teacher Lauren Ebbecke said.

To fund the project's estimated $647,000 cost, Ebbecke pursued and received contributions from several public and private sources, including the Walter Alexander Foundation and the Wausau School District.The district could contribute up to $50,000 in public money for startup costs and will pay about $4,000 for maintenance on the two turbines every year.

A smaller turbine and a photovoltaic system also will be installed at East this year. The turbines are at the forefront of the district's plans to teach students about renewable energy. Ebbecke continues to work with other teachers to develop wind-energy curriculum, and some of their lesson plans will be used this school year.

"I think it's important to teach (students) to make responsible decisions and that there are other choices out there regarding their energy," Ebbecke said.

1 comment:

  1. As a graduate of Wausau East ('02 - old building) I am excited that Wausau has moved in this direction. This represents one of the best on-site educational centers in clean energy and environmental science that I have seen or heard of, which is a huge opportunity for students and the community.

    Now that the School District has taken this lead, I hope that they will continue to make performance upgrades to their existing facilities to improve efficiency and reduce costs; continue in a leadership role for the community. I can only hope that the City of Wausau, citizens and businesses, and more districts will follow their lead.

    Joshua Clements
    UW Extension Educator, Walworth County
    http://www.uwex.edu/ces/cty/walworth/

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