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New University of Minnesota, Morris wind turbine under construction

Posted by Judy Korn on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011

A new wind turbine is under construction for the University of Minnesota, Morris. The new structure will join the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) turbine, the first public university large-scale wind research turbine in the nation. The new structure will stand 1,600 feet south of the WCROC turbine on city of Morris land. It will be 10 meters taller and deliver 10 percent more power than the existing turbine.

The first turbine powers WCROC’s wind-to-hydrogen-to-ammonia pilot research project and provides more than 50 percent of the Morris campus’s energy needs. It is anticipated that with the addition of a second turbine, wind energy will provide an average of 70 percent of campus electricity. On good wind days, that statistic could climb as high as 100 percent.

Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson states, “The second wind turbine will further reduce the University of Minnesota, Morris’s carbon footprint, advance our goal of producing more energy than we consume, and fix our electrical costs for the next 20 years.”

The new turbine project officially began last November 2010 when the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved construction of a second wind turbine in Morris. Groundbreaking occurred in January 2011. Vestas, the Danish company that supplied the WCROC turbine, will deliver the new 1.65 megawatt turbine in February 2011, and it should be operational later in the month. Real-time production data will be shown on the green kiosk in the Welcome Center. Operational data will be logged and will strengthen the environmental resources available to the campus.