Lake Region State College: A Big Fan of Wind Turbines

October 18, 2012

“Fans” is the probably first thought that may come to your mind when you hear “Honeywell.” I can tell you now, no matter where you live, at the end of summer when temperatures are sky high, and immediately when the first heat wave of spring hits, the fans are pulled out from their winter hiding spots to blast colder air into the faces of everyone from construction workers after a long day, to college freshmen in their tiny, cell-block-like dorm rooms (that is, unless you live in the north pole).

So when Honeywell Building Solutions and officials at Lake Region State College (LRSC), in Devils Lake, N.D., combined forces, they came up with a larger-scale “fan” that would do more than cool people off on a hot, summer day. They created an on-campus wind turbine that will serve as a new source of energy and revenue for LRSC while also acting as a teaching tool for the school’s wind energy technician program.

“The turbine is capable of producing 6,000 megawatt hours of electricity per year. Because the campus demands only 1,700 megawatt hours of electricity annually, LRSC will sell excess power to the Otter Tail Power Company, the school’s local utility. This additional revenue stream will help to cover turbine construction costs within 15 years, saving the school from having to increase its budget or tap into taxpayer dollars. The turbine will also act as a living laboratory for students enrolled in the school’s wind energy technician program. For the program, LRSC had previously ‘borrowed’ turbines at nearby facilities to train wind energy technicians. This presented expensive logistical challenges—particularly in transporting instructors and students to the sites — and ultimately limited program enrollment.

Preparing students for employment in the country’s burgeoning green sector is important for technical schools like LRSC, and the on-campus turbine will strengthen its capabilities to attract and accommodate program enrollees. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that 3.1 million jobs, or 2.4 percent of total employment in the U.S., is associated with the production of green goods and services.”

Read rest of article at Honeywell 

Images courtesy of Steve Bailey on behalf of Honeywell Building Solutions.

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