Thursday, April 05, 2012

Wind farm making changes after pilots, FAA complain

Credit:  By Karl Man, KWCH 12 Eyewitness News, 4 April 2012

A Concordia wind farm faces some changes after pilots in the area say the blades reach too high into their flight path.

Officials now want to shorten three turbines that according to FAA regulations are thirty feet too tall for the area.

Over the summer the turbines in the Cloud County Wind Farm will be reconstructed and made smaller.
Cloud County Community College is right in the middle of the matter because students use the wind farm to learn about wind energy technology.

“They get a hands on opportunity that they would not get if we did not have those turbines”, says school president Danette Toone.

The wind farm also produces electricity; the school then uses that for heating or air conditioning. Officials say they are saving upwards of $75,000 per year on utilities thanks to the turbines.

It cost over a million dollars to put up the three turbines. How much will it cost to make them shorter? Contractors are still looking into that.

The process to make the wind farm shorter will start sometime in June, Cloud County Community College hopes the process will wrap up by the middle of August to start off the next school year.

The college says they are going to use reconstruction as a learning process for students.

Anyone studying wind energy technology at the school is encouraged to see how the shortening is handled.

Officials say students will walk away with a better understanding of turbines.

 Credit:  By Karl Man, KWCH 12 Eyewitness News, 4 April 2012

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