Kirkwood Community College’s wind turbine is now in operation and generating electricity. Taking roughly a month to build the tower sections and attach the rotor assembly, it took more than another week to commission the 417-foot tall, $5.2 million structure.
Each blade weighs 30,000 pounds, and on top of the cylindrical base is the nacelle, weighing 310,000 pounds on its own. The rotor radius of the blades is 96-meters across.
The power from the turbine will be sold to Alliant energy, generating about $300,000 a year for the college.
Students in Kirkwood’s Energy Production & Distribution Technologies program will use the turbine as a learning laboratory. If a technician from Clipper needs to come fix any part of the turbine, students will work alongside that person. Students will also help with the turbine’s maintenance every six months.
For more information on the Energy Production & Distribution Technologies program, visit www.kirkwood.edu/industrialtech.
(Photo taken from the south, on Feb. 17, 2012)