The Grinnell Board of Trustees voted to fund the wind turbine initiative to the tune of $13 million last Friday. The decision was largely expected but is the result of over 15 years of discussion. Begun in 1996, the proposal moved through several revisions and both students and faculty researched it before Trustees voted on it. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, the board’s decision is a huge step towards making the plan a reality.
The three turbines will be constructed as a part of the Presidential Climate Commitment, which promotes carbon neutrality in colleges and universities across the United States. President Kington signed the commitment last semester paving the way for the final approval of the turbines. They are expected to provide 80 percent of the college’s electricity needs, and halve our carbon footprint.
Jackie Blair ’12, chair of the Student Environmental Committee, says that there’s plenty to do in the meantime. “Now that we have the green light … SEC will continue with other … projects,” Blair said. “… our next big campaign will be following up on our composting project which was started last semester.”
In addition, Blair stressed the need for student consciousness on campus. “I would love to see students donating unwanted items to the flea market … instead of them winding up in a landfill,” Blair said.