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Students, staff, faculty, and public invited to wind turbine dedication

Posted by Judy Korn on Friday, Sep. 23, 2011


University of Minnesota, Morris’s new wind turbine will be dedicated on Saturday, September 24, 2011, at 3 p.m. Several events are planned in conjunction with the celebration, including a pre-dedication 2K walk, an exhibition of artwork created by area elementary and high school students, and a post-dedication picnic. All activities are free and open to the campus and community.

The 2K Wind Walk begins at the Student Center on campus at 2:30 p.m. with the route ending at the dedication site. All participants are asked to gather beginning at 2 p.m. “Turbine T-shirts” will be awarded to all walkers.

Because no parking is available at the dedication site, complimentary shuttle service will transport dedication guests from the Student Center to the site from 2 until 2:45 p.m. All campus lots will be available for free parking.

The dedication ceremony for the new wind turbine will be held at 3 p.m., rain or shine. The new turbine joins the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) turbine on the ridge just east of campus.

The turbine stands 1,600 feet south of the WCROC turbine on city of Morris land. It is 10 meters taller and delivers 10 percent more power than the first turbine. Together, the turbines provide an average of 70 percent of campus electricity. On good wind days, that statistic climbs to more than 100 percent, and electricity beyond what the campus can use “goes out on the grid” for local use.

Following the dedication, McKinstry, one of Morris’s “green partners,” will provide a complimentary picnic for event attendees. McKinstry, a sustainable design/build/operate/maintain (DBOM) company, helped the campus develop a Carbon Management Tool that guides conservation of resources and generation of renewable power.

Throughout the day, art created by area young people—drawings, paintings, and photos—will be displayed in the Student Center. Students K–12 were invited to depict what they imagine or what they see, “When the wind blows…” for the contest. All participants receive a Turbine T-shirt, and winners will be named in four categories: K–3 4–6 7–9 and 10–12.

Chancellor Jacqueline Johnson invites all members of the campus and the community to join the dedication celebration and witness the historic occasion. “The new wind turbine advances the campus goal of producing more energy that we consume,” she says. “Financially, the new turbine fixes our electrical cost for the next 20 years, and environmentally, it reduces Morris’s carbon footprint. The new turbine is an exciting, fiscally responsible, green solution of which both campus and community can be proud.”

For more information or to request special accommodations, please contact Karen Ellis at at 320-589-6463.