Imagine you have a wind turbine at your school. It’s over 150 feet tall, with an 18,000 pound generator and three 46-feet long blades, each weighing about 4,000 pounds.
And it stopped working.
This was the problem the Lac qui Parle Valley School District found itself facing during spring 2022. The 225-kilowatt wind turbine – which paid for itself in 10 years via energy savings and incentives – normally had been producing about 25 percent of the electricity used by the school. Erected in the winter of 1997, it had become something of a landmark for the Lac qui Parle Valley (LQPV) Eagles. Science teachers at the school even used it as a part of their lessons.
What to do now?
Jacob Selseth with West Central CERT, got to sleuthing.
“We are lucky here in the west central region to have enormous amounts of expertise in clean energy,” notes Selseth. “That said, it wasn't easy to find the right person for the job. I asked everybody I knew who had medium-size turbines. Finally, I reached out to my old friends at Great River Energy and they connected me with Dennis, who stepped up to the plate for LQPV.”