Wind Turbine

A small wind turbine was installed Dec. 6, 2012 at Western Illinois University to serve as a curriculum resource, while addressing sustainability goals of the University as part of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' (IIRA) Illinois Wind for Schools project.

Installation of the 70 foot, 2.4 kW (kilowatt) turbine and tower has been completed just west of Western's Harry Mussatto Golf Course. According to Fred Iutzi, IIRA renewable energy program manager, the turbine will serve as an on-site classroom for high school and junior high school students from around the state.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase not only this renewable form of energy and to teach students new skills, but the turbine will also allow us the opportunity to showcase what the WIU campus has to offer," Iutzi said.

The project is primarily funded by a $28,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and is part of the Illinois Wind for Schools program. A joint effort of IIRA at WIU and the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University, the Illinois Wind for Schools program helps Illinois high schools and middle schools integrate wind energy into their curricula, and provides service and learning opportunities for WIU faculty and students.

WIU Physical Plant Director Scott Coker noted that, in addition to its teaching impact, the wind turbine will offset a fraction of the WIU golf course's electrical load, approximately 200 kWh (kilowatt hours) per month.

Read more about the university's wind turbine.