Wausau East Constructs New Wind Turbine

By: Matt Behrens Email
By: Matt Behrens Email

A strong gust of wind can destroy the perfect hair-do, or chill your body to the bone, but it's also incredibly useful when its energy is converted into electricity.

That's exactly what students at Wausau East High School are getting ready to learn first hand.

The school got an impressive addition Wednesday, in the form of a 155 foot tall, 100 kilowatt wind turbine.

The turbine is only the first part of a greater renewable energy project, which will include another turbine and a solar power grid in the upcoming weeks.

The Walter Alexander Foundation approached officials at Wausau East with the idea, and funded a large portion of it, saying it was their hope to let students study renewable energy first hand, to better prepare for the future.

"Your future scientists, mathematicians, engineers, right now they're in your elementary schools, sitting in the high schools, they hold or will hold the answers to many of the future challenges we're going to face regarding energy as a society," says Dr. Brad Peck, Principal of Wausau East High School.

Far from just a classroom experiment though, the turbine is expected to save the school between $14,000 and $15,000 a year in energy costs once everything is up and running, which should recoup the district's $50,000 investment in less than five years.

So between the financial and educational aspects of the project, those who had a hand in the program hope it's a win-win situation for students at Wausau East.

The turbine is scheduled to be hooked up to Wausau East's power grid on Monday.


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