There is the Campanile and the Marston tower that peer over Iowa State as symbols of the campus. In December, Iowa State will continue its push into the wind energy market by implementing a new, energy producing symbol for the university. A 160-foot wind turbine will stand on the northeast corner of campus between the CyRide facility and the university power plant.
David Miller, associate vice president for facilities planning and management, says the turbine will be a “visible landmark” to visitors on campus. “This small wind turbine is more of a visual symbol of our support for renewable energy,” he said. Miller is also hoping the turbine will affect communities outside Ames. Facilities planning and management will begin a live stream data from the turbine once it is built.
“It could be used by ISU students or middle school students studying energy anywhere in the world,” Miller said.
Iowa State has a 20-year contract for wind energy with NextEra to explore this sustainable energy source. The only thing Iowa State owns, however, is the land where the turbine will stand. PUREnergy of Ohio will own the turbine and Northern Power Systems from Vermont will build it.
In January of 2010, ISU began buying wind-generated electricity from a wind farm in northern Story County. When the university began their business with the wind farm two years ago, director of Ames Electric Services Donald Kom explained the involvement with wind energy. “The City of Ames has a long history of supporting new energy technologies including our first in the nation waste-to-energy facility,” said Kom. “Adding wind energy helps bolster our portfolio of renewable fuels.”
The implementation of this turbine is just another symbol of Iowa State’s commitment to renewable energy.