Photo: Workers from Windy City Power in Palatine attach the blades to Waubonsee Community College’s new wind turbine. Located at the Sugar Grove Campus, the turbine is used primarily as a training tool for students in the college’s new small wind program. Courtesy Photo
SUGAR GROVE—Waubonsee Community College’s Sugar Grove Campus recently got a bit “greener” with the addition of a new Skystream wind turbine. Measuring 70 feet tall, plus another 6 feet for each blade, the turbine sits on the northwest corner of the campus near the Academic and Professional Center (APC).
While primarily designed and installed as a teaching tool for students in the college’s new small wind program, the turbine has the added benefit of providing supplementary electricity to the APC.
Featuring a new wind energy systems course that debuted this spring semester, the college’s 13-semester-hour Small Wind Certificate of Achievement will teach students how to install and maintain on- and off-grid small wind systems of 100kW or less. The coursework is aligned with the task analysis of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
Installed by Windy City Power of Palatine, the turbine is a Skystream 3.7, manufactured by Southwest Windpower of Flagstaff, Ariz. This same model, known for its quiet operation and ability to blend into the environment, can be found at Hinckley-Big Rock Middle School and The Conservation Foundation in Naperville.
In addition to this functional turbine, Waubonsee’s small-wind students will also have the opportunity to study two smaller units suitable for use by a recreational vehicle (RV) or for a specific electricity project. These units reside in a classroom.
The wind turbine marks the third significant “green technology” installed on the college’s Sugar Grove campus. In 2010, the college installed a photovoltaic array (solar panel) and an underground geothermal system near Weigel Hall, both of which are used to prepare students for the “green” jobs of the future. Waubonsee is a member of the Illinois Green Economy Network and has integrated environmentally friendly practices throughout the college and its curriculum.
For more information on Waubonsee’s small wind program and other renewable energy technologies courses, visit www.waubonsee.edu/ret.