Tuesday, April 22, 2008

SMSC to install a wind turbine next to pow wow grounds

This summer the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community will begin the installation of a 2-megawatt wind turbine next to its pow wow grounds.

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

The center hub will stand 262.4 feet tall and be visible for miles around. The three blades will be 229.6 feet in length and will function like a propeller.

The wind turbine has little environmental impact. It is not located near a major bird or bat migratory flyway.

This single turbine will supply enough energy for a significant percentage of the SMSC residential energy demand. Energy created by the turbine will be metered as it enters a nearby electrical substation that provides electricity to the SMSC and the surrounding area. The generated energy will likely be offset against SMSC residential energy costs.

Like many, the SMSC faces growing energy demands and dependence on outside sources for that energy. Environmental impacts associated with conventional energy sources are known to be destructive to the earth.

In response, the SMSC has actively explored local options to supply its energy demands. This focus will reduce some of the environmental impacts associated with conventional energy sources like natural gas and oil.

Most of the solutions being pursued by the SMSC do not require extensive infrastructure. Since initial investment costs are recouped over the life of the project, especially with rising conventional energy costs, other options are preferred by the SMSC. Minnesota is the third largest producer of wind energy in the nation, behind Texas and California. The state of Minnesota has set renewable energy standard that requires 25 percent of the state's energy to come from renewable sources by 2025. The SMSC wind turbine is another example to meet that goal.

The wind turbine is one of several SMSC energy initiatives already underway.

The SMSC is a major partner in Koda Energy, a joint venture with Rahr Malting of Shakopee to produce heat and electricity by burning agricultural by-products and grown energy crops. This stable, clean-energy production facility will be operational by December 2008 and could supply up to 75% of the SMSC’s energy needs for housing.

Another innovative project will soon convert the SMSC’s waste motor oil and vegetable oil to heat buildings.

Currently waste oil is hauled away; but by fall 2008, some SMSC spaces will be partially heated by waste oil. Using waste oil for heat reduces the use of natural gas. A project to convert 28,000 gallons of waste vegetable oil each year into bio-diesel for use in SMSC vehicles and equipment is also underway.

The SMSC fire station addition scheduled for completion in June 2008 has incorporated efforts to utilize the free 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.

The new ice arena currently under construction will also feature skylights specifically designed to compliment 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.

Another energy saving feature of the SMSC's new ice arena will 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. This reduces energy consumption and makes the arena more comfortable for guests.

-- Shawn Hogendorf

source: http://plamerican.com/news/environment/smsc-install-wind-turbine-next-pow-wow-grounds-5508

1 comment:

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