Lee leads green power initiative

This summer, Oswego began a project that will provide wind power for the electrical system of a building regularly exposed to Lake Ontario’s blustery weather.

Turbine on top of Lee Hall

Turbine on top of Lee Hall

The project aims to use a wind turbine with a small footprint to provide an estimated 40,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year from atop the campus heating plant in Lee Hall.

John Moore, the college’s director of engineering and sustainability, pointed out that most wind turbines need a wind speed of 7 mph to generate electricity. This unit, though, can produce power in wind of less than 3 mph, and start turning at 1 mph.

Moore estimated the turbine, which was installed in July, will produce enough energy in less than 12 years to pay back the estimated $50,000 initial investment. The college will look for federal and state funding for small wind projects to help fund the purchase.

As with the geothermal project that will help heat and cool the college’s future sciences complex, Moore emphasized the educational benefits of monitoring and studying this alternative energy project.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Moore said. “Our earth sciences faculty are excited.” l

— Jeff Rea ’71

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