College Planning & Management

JUN 2012

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public support before securing all the neces- sary federal, state, and local permits. "The easiest part of the project was probably the construction phase," notes Edward Terceiro, the resident engineer on the project and the College's executive vice president emeritus. "That was very straightforward." The returns for Mount Wachusett have been outstanding. The project also fi ts into the College's historic commitment to support alternative energy and sustainabil- ity through conservation, education, and institutional support. In the past decade, this commitment has seen Mount Wachu- sett cut its electrical energy consumption almost in half, to approximately 5,000,000 kWh annually. The school's two turbines now provide in excess of 100 percent of the College's electrical needs, making Mount Wachusett virtually carbon neutral. Surplus energy and the sale of the RECs provide an addi- tional $265,000 in annual revenue beyond the debt service on the bonds. Reaching the Upper Midwest Lakeshore Technical College (LTC) in Wisconsin is equally committed to wind power, hosting four different types of tur- bines on its Cleveland campus. They generate 170,000 kWh of power annually for the Col- lege, which offers technical education pro- grams and associate degrees to more than 4,500 students in more than 60 programs. Michelle Gibbs, Next Generation Energy coordinator, explains that the importance of the turbines goes beyond energy to pro- viding training and educational opportuni- ties for students in LTC's growing Wind Energy Technology program. "It gives them the chance to get hands- on experience working with different turbines under all sorts of conditions," she says. "It is exactly the type of situations they'll face in their professional lives." Focus on Energy, a consortium of Wisconsin's public utilities and other state energy organizations, apparently agrees with the importance of producing qualifi ed graduates. Last year, the group supplied LTC with a $158,000 grant to fund three of the training turbines. This power play by colleges and uni- versities will only grow as the process for bringing turbines online is streamlined. The opportunity is too great to pass up, especially if an institution has the vision, space, and wind. CPM Dr. Anthony Cortese is president of Second Nature (www.secondnature.org), the lead supporting organization of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (www.presidentsclimate commitment.org). fabric structures Whether playing, training or growing, ClearSpan keeps you covered. Sustainable Design-Build Solutions Low in cost per square foot. Natural daytime lighting. Easy to relocate. Expandable. Call one of our ClearSpan specialists today at 1.866.643.1010 or visit www.ClearSpan.com/ADCPM. JUNE 2012 / COLLEGE PLANNING & MANAGEMENT 67

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