Wind Turbine Installed by Students

Guest Blog | April 28, 2010 | Press Releases

Knoxville, Tenn (April 29, 2010) – Morgan County Career and Technical Center (MCCTC) is excited to announce the installation of a 2.4 kW Skystream wind turbine on a 112′ tower designed and built by the welding students at MCCTC in Wartburg, TN. The tower will be lifted on Thursday, April 29, 2010 at 1:00pm EDT at the MCCTC campus located at 132 Flat Fork Rd in Wartburg, TN.

The tower for the wind turbine has been planned, designed, and built by high school students at MCCTC, led by instructor Ronnie Trout. MCCTC will use this wind turbine to continue to train and educate students, and the Upper Cumberland community, on the use of renewable energy resources in the area. “One of the fastest growing fields is green power. We’re providing hands-on training on fabrication, erection, and installation of wind and solar systems,” says Trout.

In 2009, Trout and his high school students, with some help from the community and local utilities, installed a 3kW Kestrel wind turbine on a 118’ guy-wired tower and constructed a tower to hold a 0.8kW display of solar panels in the shape of a poinsettia. Both systems are currently operational at MCCTC. The project started when Trout and his school were awarded a grant from Heraeus Metals to install the wind turbine and solar panels at the school. Shortly afterward, they were awarded a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to continue their work and expand to other schools nearby.

The students build towers over one hundred feet tall in order to reach the most consistent wind resource. “The tall tower is an example of one of the key best practices when installing a small wind turbine on the Cumberland Plateau,” according to Katie Stokes, coordinator for the Tennessee Valley and Eastern Kentucky Wind Working Group.

The school has applied to sell the energy generated from the new wind turbine and the previously installed solar PV system and wind turbine to Tennessee Valley Authority’s Generation Partners program. Generation Partners buys wind power generated at $0.03 above the retail price of electricity and solar power at $0.12 above retail. The money generated from the renewable systems will go back to the school to further advance the renewable energy education program.

More information about the renewable energy system program at MCCTC can be found at the program’s website, maintained by the Tennessee Valley and Eastern Kentucky Wind Working Group. The Tennessee Wind Working Group is a Department of Energy funded program that is facilitated by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

SACE provides outreach on behalf of the project through a partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission, Tennessee Technical University, and Morgan County Career and Technical Center. If you’d like more information contact Ronnie Trout at (423) 346-6285 and (423) 539-3463 or Katie Stokes, TN and KY Wind Working Group Coordinator, at: (865) 637-6055 x22 or (901) 849-4116 or email at [email protected]. # # # #

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast.