Going Green

Lee Hall wind turbineSUNY Oswego's Climate Action Plan calls for reducing carbon emissions through conservation and improved energy and transportation management — and, additionally, by gradually adopting renewable energy technologies.

One of those is a wind turbine placed atop Lee Hall last summer to provide an estimated 40,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year when fully functional. Using a vertical-axis design, the unit from Impact Technologies can produce power in winds of less than 3 mph and start turning in a 1 mph breeze. The blades are designed also to harness turbulent winds, like those off Lake Ontario.

“Being carbon neutral is really achievable for us,” said Jerry DeSantis, the college's sustainability coordinator last year. “In the next decade we can achieve somewhere around a 40 percent reduction by just being smart about it.”

Oswego completed its Climate Action Plan in accordance with President Deborah F. Stanley's pledge when she signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Elements of the plan include building all new structures — like 2010’s Village residential complex — to the U.S. Green Building Council’s rigorous standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, addressing the need for community coordination and leadership, and incorporating sustainability into the curriculum of schools and colleges alike.

The goal is a better future for the campus, the region and, ultimately, the world — cleaner, more efficient, less costly and more secure.

Photo: New wind turbine atop Lee Hall

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