FARMINGTON, Minn. (Nov. 15, 2007) — Renewable energy is soon to be on tap for the School of Environmental Studies, Apple Valley, as crews recently completed the installation of a 160-foot tower topped with a 20-kilowatt turbine at the District 196 optional school.
The 20-kw turbine and two 1-kw solar arrays will generate renewable energy, but more importantly the units will provide a learning environment for generations of students. On-site displays will provide educational information about how wind energy is generated, including live output and weather information. Displays will also discuss solar power and sustainable building design components used in the small onsite facility.
“We are excited about this program,” Principal Dan Bodette said. “Students have been involved in this project from the beginning, and students will learn from this project for years. It not only generates electricity, but it also generates learning opportunities.”
The School of Environmental Studies and Dakota Electric Association, who is managing the project, will launch the project with a dedication ceremony on Dec. 18.
A computer monitor at the site as well as inside the school’s cafeteria will display the real-time output of the turbine and solar panels. For classroom work, students will have the ability to pull up historical energy data and review weather data, such as wind speed and temperature. Instructors will be able to build curriculum around the project to help students gain first-hand knowledge about renewable energy generation.
“Dakota Electric is pleased to help provide this type of learning environment and renewable energy resource,” Dakota Electric President and CEO Greg Miller said. “We also thank all of those who have helped make this project a reality.”
The project is privately funded and has come together through the work and support of the following organizations: Dakota Electric Association, Great River Energy, Apple Valley Ready Mix, CNH Architects, NuForm Graphics, Trillium Development, Ulteig Engineers, NorthTek, K.A.Witt, Winkelman’s Environmentally Responsible Construction, District 196, the city of Apple Valley and students and staff at the School of Environmental Studies.
The tower will also hold antennas for Dakota Electric that will provide improved network communications used to ensure reliable electric service.
A customer-owned, non-profit utility since 1937, Dakota Electric Association provides electricity to more than 99,000 members throughout Dakota County and portions of Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties. Dakota Electric, a Touchstone Energy Partner, serves its member/owners with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community.