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Wind powered school causes controversy  

A Woodbury school is going green in order to save some green.

The new East Ridge High School, now under construction, could have an environmentally friendly addition: Wind power.

But the proposed turbine is also generating controversy.

The school located on Bailey Rd will be open by fall of 2009.

John Doth with South Washington County Schools described the plan to build a 180 foot tall wind turbine at East Ridge to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. The turbine would produce up to 70 percent of the school’s electricity.

“Whatever we generate from the wind generator we don’t have to purchase from Xcel,” Doth said.

The price tag falls just short of one million dollars. But the district hopes the school will pay that off in less than 10 years in what they’ve saved on electricity.

“It demonstrates to the public that the school district is interested in sound economic decisions and wind generation is one of them” said Doth.

The school for environmental studies in Apple Valley has a turbine but Woodbury’s would be the first in the Metro to generate enough electric to power a school.

Some neighbors said they like the idea, but it’s a little too close to home.

“Seeing something that large right across from my house might be a little bit of an eyesore,” said homeowner Corey Neises.

School officials said the turbine would be located next to power lines more than a 1,000 feet from any home.

The school is looking for funding and the biggest hurdle will be approval from the city of Woodbury, which right now—has no ordinance on the books on how to handle wind turbines.


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