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On This Long-Awaited ‘Green’ Project, Knowledge IS Power


Wiring the wind turbine are, clockwise from left, Sam Courtney, installation supervisor for Wind Turbines of Ohio, LLC; Jon W. Hart, instructor of building automation technologies/HVAC electrical; and Paul T. Jordan, a renewable energy technologies major from Williamsport.
Wiring the wind turbine are, clockwise from left, Sam Courtney, installation supervisor for Wind Turbines of Ohio, LLC; Jon W. Hart, instructor of building automation technologies/HVAC/electrical; and Paul T. Jordan, a renewable energy technologies major from Williamsport.
Sam Courtney checks the readout on the controller, inside a building adjacent to the 80-foot turbine tower, with Wayne E. Gebhart, assistant professor of electrical technologies/occupations.
Sam Courtney checks the readout on the controller, inside a building adjacent to the 80-foot turbine tower, with Wayne E. Gebhart, assistant professor of electrical technologies/occupations.
The turbine near the Route 15 entrance to the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, about 10 miles south of Penn College's main campus, spins in the wintry wind.
The turbine near the Route 15 entrance to the Schneebeli Earth Science Center, about 10 miles south of Penn College’s main campus, spins in the wintry wind.

After a few wiring connections, the flick of a switch, some last-minute adjustments – and a helpful blast of winter wind across the White Deer Valley – Penn College’s turbine became operational Thursday. The morning’s achievement was several years in the making, beginning with a 2010 U.S. Department of Energy grant through The Pennsylvania State University. Students from the college’s two-year renewable energy technologies major will draw primary benefit from the turbine, which is near the Route 15 entrance to the Schneebeli Earth Science Center and begins to generate power when wind speed hits 7-9 miles per hour. (Thursday’s current, which provided a timely nudge shortly after the turbine’s approval for use, was expected to hit upwards of 20 mph.)  Other majors from the School of Construction and Design Technologies – carpentry, electrical and masonry, among them – helped with installation of the wind turbine, erecting the 24-by-24-foot support building and hooking up the equipment that converts raw, natural energy into usable electricity.

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