College Dedicates Pottstown Wind Turbine Installation

College Dedicates Pottstown Wind Turbine Installation

Four new wind turbines stand erect outside 140 College Dr., on the MCCC campus

POTTSTOWN PA – Four new wind turbines erected on the Montgomery County Community College campus at 140 College Dr., outside its Schuylkill Riverfront Academic and Heritage Center, were dedicated last week (April 21) as a demonstration project intended in part to show the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

The 25-foot vertical axis turbines won’t power major facilities on campus. Each produces 1,000 watts of energy, for a combined 4,000 watts; that’s only enough energy to power the LED lighting in the center’s parking lot. However, the project will provide real-life teaching and learning opportunities for students and faculty, the college reported.

The turbines’ lightweight carbon fiber and fiberglass blades have a “cut-in speed” of 7.83 miles per hour, meaning that winds must be at least eight miles per hour to generate usable electricity.

They are similar to turbines found at Lincoln Financial Park in Philadelphia, and are endorsed by the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, the National Audubon Society, and by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. They are reportedly quiet in operation, and produce “about as much noise as a desktop computer,” according to a college press release.

The turbines are part of the college’s Guaranteed Energy Services Agreement with Siemens Industry Inc., which has enabled it to implement a series of self-funding energy conservation projects. Collectively the projects will result in 19 percent energy savings, and more than $6 million in cost savings, over the next 15 years, the release said.

Other conservation initiatives include converting several buildings from propane to natural gas; retrofitting lighting with energy-efficient units; weatherizing buildings; installing water-conservation toilets; improving heating and cooling units; upgrading building automation and energy management system; and incorporating renewable energy sources like solar panels at MCCC’s Blue Bell campus.

State Rep. Mark Painter, Pottstown Borough Council President Stephen Toroney, and Pottstown Mayor Sharon Thomas joined college President Dr. Karen A. Stout and members of the college Board of Trustees in cutting a ceremonial ribbon.

Photo from Montgomery County Communty College