The West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) began operating a 1.65 MW wind turbine in March 2005. This 230-foot turbine provides the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) with 4.8 million kilowatt hours of power each year; this is more than half of UMM's annual electricity requirement.
Of equal or greater interest is the wind turbine's potential to generate additional energy sources and to provide a platform for this research. WCROC has received funds from the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources to institute a plan to demonstrate and conduct vital research in areas of stored wind energy with hydrogen, fuel mixing and value-added products such as wind produced fertilizer.
Wind Turbine Overview
- Each blade is 135 feet in length
- The turbine will begin producing electricity when the wind speed reaches 7.8 miles an hour (at 230 feet), and will reach its maximum production of 1.65 megawatts of electricity at wind speeds of 29 miles an hour.
- According to wind data collected at the WCROC, the turbine location above the Pomme de Terre River has an average wind speed of more than 16 miles an hour at 230 feet.
- Over the span of nearly two years, WCROC researchers calculated the turbine's total electrical production was 11,570,000 kilowatt hours, and resulted in the following amounts of gases not being emitted into the environment:
- Co2 (carbon dioxide): 12,322 tons
- NOx (nitrogen oxide): 44 tons
- So2 (sulfur dioxide): 78 tons
- Approximately 10% of its power will be used for hydrogen and ammonia production.
For more information, contact Mike Reese, Renewable Energy Director