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Oregon schools sign off on 2 wind turbines for campus  

Credit:  WTVG, abclocal.go.com 23 June 2011 ~~

Think high school’s a breeze? That’s what they’re hoping for at Clay. Oregon schools signed off on two wind turbines for the campus.

During tonight’s board meeting, there was concern turbines may be too close to the nesting areas of bald eagles.

Mark Skolnicki got wind of a project at Clay High School of two 750 kilowatt wind turbines being built on school property. Skolnicki’s organization, the black swamp observatory, is concerned the small energy farm may disrupt the habitat of nearby bald eagles.

Skolnicki says, “The fact that we’re so close to so many nesting sites for bald eagles, I strongly urge the board to work either directly with the fish and wildlife service or with its partners to obtain an ‘Eagle Act Permit’ before the construction of any wind turbines.”

“We’re feeling right now the wind. We have a lot of wind out here in this part of the state. We’re right on the lake. We’re in a high wind-energy zone, and we’re trying to capture that.” Oregon’s superintendent explains the turbines would generate enough electricity to power the high school campus 100 percent.

Thursday night, the Oregon Board of Education signed off on the project. The district is not buying the turbines, it’s leasing them and projecting a savings of millions of dollars over the next 20 years.

Administrators are also working the turbines and their effect on the environment into the curriculum. “That is why this wind energy project is being embedded in the biology program.”

Still, those concerned about the birds are asking Oregon schools to wait 3 years so more studies can be done on their wind revolution. We may start seeing construction by the end of summer and the turbines could be up and running by the spring.

Source:  WTVG, abclocal.go.com 23 June 2011

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