A FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Comments & questions to:
Summary: In April 2003, Macalester College installed a 10 kilowatt BWC Excel wind turbine. It was the first of its size in the City of St. Paul and also one of the first on any college campus. The turbine generates some electricity for Olin-Rice Hall, Macalester’s science center (the equivalent to half of the electricity consumed by the Eco-House). It provides an educational opportunity for students, staff and faculty to research and learn about wind energy, wind patterns, geography, environmental studies and the practicality of wind turbines in urban areas.
- Bergey Windpower Co. designed and manufactured the turbine (www.bergey.com).
- 90’ tall with three 27' propellers for a total height of 103’
- Sound level of 44.1 dBA at a distance of 100’ which is equivalent to “white sound”
History: In the early 1990’s, the Minnesota State Legislature required Excel Energy to donate money to the research and development of sustainable energy sources as part of a bill that allowed the company to expand its nuclear storage facilities. This fund covered some of the cost of placing a wind turbine on Macalester’s campus. The site was deemed advantageous because it was not in the migration path of any birds, it offered a great opportunity for alternative energy education, and could serve as a symbol of Macalester’s environmental awareness and efforts.
Cost: About $35,000 was donated by Excel Energy to cover the manufacturing cost of the turbine. Macalester’s 2003 senior class gift paid for the installation, approximately $16,000. When the turbine was installed, it was estimated to pay for itself within 15 years. However, the height and location limits the turbine’s effectiveness, which results in the turbine generating less energy than was originally estimated. Macalester owns the turbine and is responsible for its upkeep, which includes annual oil changes and semi-annual greasing. If well maintained, a turbine can last 20 to 30 years.
Wind Turbine Data: