A new piece of instructional equipment at Northeast Community College in Norfolk is now up and spinning.
It’s a 110-foot tall, 100-watt wind turbine.
Northeast’s wind energy coordinator Glen Lammers says the students are stoked to literally get their hands on the tower.
Lammers says limited training has been in labs before and now they’ll be able to start working on the real thing as soon as next week.
Northeast also has two, fully-operational, residential wind turbines on campus that have been used for three years for instructional purposes. They generate electricity for two labs.
Northeast dean of technology Lyle Kathol says while the new wind turbine isn’t as big as the more common 300-foot towers, it’s a valuable tool for the school and its wind energy program.
“This is cruicial,” Kathol says. “We have to travel 60 miles or more to get to a location where we could even look at a full-sized turbine. Typically, an owner does not allow someone to climb their tower because of liability issues.”
Kathol says the new turbine allowed Northeast to expand its one-year diploma program to a two-year Associate of Applied Science Degree program in wind energy this year.
A dozen students will earn a diploma in wind energy from Northeast in May. Kathol also notes enrollment for next fall is at the maximum 20 students — and there is a waiting list.
Jim Curry, WJAG, Norfolk