Blowin’ in the Wind continued
“Sustainability and efficiency have gone far beyond being buzzwords,” Ribley said. “They are now part of our way of life. We need to develop an energy policy that recognizes and takes care of the environment.”
The wind turbine will provide a clean, renewable source of energy, and also be incorporated into the university’s academic programs, said GSU President Elaine P. Maimon. Students in GSU science classes will be able to monitor the turbine’s performance through a television hookup, and learn about renewable technology.
Dr. Maimon said GSU’s wind turbine exemplifies the university’s commitment to sustainability. She noted that children attending the Family Learning Center, adjacent to the wind turbine site, will see it every day, and learn a valuable lesson about sustainability and environmental stewardship early in their lives.
State Senator Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, said she is pleased to be a partner in GSU’s environmental initiatives. GSU, she said, is a center for positive, forward-thinking action in the Southland region.
“We can make anything, grow anything, that we need and we can do it right here,” Hutchinson said. “A university is supposed to be a portal to the future. When GSU opens doors, you can go anywhere you want.”
Construction of the 120-foot-tall wind turbine will begin in January 2011 and is expected to take six to nine months. When operational, the turbine will provide 35 percent of the power for the Family Development Center and save about $14,000 a year in energy costs, according to Susan Rakstang, associate vice president for facilities development and maintenance.
With the installation of an on-campus wind turbine, GSU will continue reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and move toward its goal of becoming Illinois’ greenest university.