Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux to build a Wind turbine

This summer, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Community will begin installation of a 2-megawatt wind turbine next to its powwow grounds that it says will supply enough energy for a significant percentage of the Prior Lake tribe’s residential energy demand.

Several years ago the tribe installed an anemometer to determine if a wind turbine would yield satisfactory results. Results were encouraging so the project moved forward, said the tribe.

The center hub will stand 262.4 feet high and be visible for miles. The three blades will be 229.6 feet in length.

The tribe said the wind turbine will have little environmental impact.

The wind turbine is one of several Mdewakanton energy initiatives already under way. The tribe is a major partner in Koda Energy, a joint venture with Rahr Malting of Shakopee to produce heat and electricity by burning agricultural byproducts and energy crops. The production facility is scheduled to be in operation by December and could supply up to 75 percent of the community's energy needs for housing. Another project will soon convert the community's waste motor oil and vegetable oil to heat buildings. Waste oil is hauled away. But by fall, some community spaces will be partially heated by waste oil. A project to convert 28,000 gallons of waste vegetable oil each year into biodiesel for use in community vehicles and equipment is also under way.

The community fire station addition scheduled for completion in June has incorporated efforts to utilize the energy of the sun. Four skylights with daylight-harvesting sensors will light a training room and equipment bay, reducing daytime energy usage. Six solar cells on the roof will capture energy to heat water for showers and equipment washing, reducing the use of natural gas.

A new ice sheet addition to the community’s ice arena under construction will also feature skylights specifically designed to complement the arena use. Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, the arena typically will not have a lot of use. By using skylights and daylight harvestings during these non-peak hours, energy consumption for lighting will be reduced by about 50 percent, the tribe said.

The ice arena will also capture waste heat from the refrigeration compressors used to cool the rink floor and use it to heat the arena seats. Dispersing heat in spectator spaces reduces the need to heat the entire arena.

source: http://www.shakopeenews.com/news/general_news/wind_turbine_be_built_tribe-5587

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