New Hampshire’s Colby-Sawyer College installed its first wind turbine – a 50-foot tall Skystream 3.7.
The turbine includes a 24/7 web-based monitoring system with real-time access to data, providing students with the ability to learn how the technology works, and to calculate business measurements such as return on investment and the turbine’s impact on sustainability. A grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation made the project possible.
At an average wind speed of 12.5 mph, the turbine can produce 400-450 kWh per month. It joins a demonstration-sized solar panel display that was installed on campus last year as a precursor to Colby-Sawyer’s 517-panel PV array. Power generated by these energy projects offsets the college’s energy consumption and feeds back into the main electrical system of the college.
In addition to its green impact, visible projects like the wind turbine and the pole-mounted solar panels allow the college to communicate its commitment to sustainability and open new marketing possibilities.
Colby-Sawyer has a goal of achieving a carbon-neutral campus by 2050, spelled out in its Climate Action Plan and approved by the college’s Board of Trustees in 2010. Milestones along the way include a 50 percent reduction in emissions by 2015 and a 70 percent reduction by 2020.
In June, World Energy Solutions said it had helped Colby-Sawyer College procure more than 10 million kWh of electricity with renewable energy credits (RECs).
Photo by Greg Danilowski