CANTON, N.Y. – If plans move forward on a new construction project at SUNY Canton, the famed water tower won’t be the tallest structure on campus.
“NYPA (New York Power Authority) approached SUNY Canton as a potential facility where a distributive wind turbine project could be located,” said Ryan Deuel, chief of staff to the SUNY Canton president.
When SUNY Canton drafted its current campus mission statement, there was a large emphasis on sustainability. That, in connection with the governor’s executive order for SUNY campuses to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels, gave SUNY Canton the idea to become the first SUNY campus to put up a wind turbine.
“The project includes grants and loans and different funding mechanisms. The goal is to pay back the wind turbine over the next 12 to 15 years,” said Deuel.
The proposed site of the wind turbine project is on the southwest corner of the campus. The power would then be fed through an underground line to the campus substation behind me.
“We would be looking at construction probably summer 2014 with completion in the fall,” said Deuel.
Before construction begins, numerous studies will be done to make sure the turbine won’t negatively impact the campus, community, wildlife or the environment. Even though it will be a lengthy process, it will provide a great learning opportunity for students.
“We’re going to be able to involve the students in the whole process of designing, building and seeing the turbine to completion,” said Michael Newtown, interim dean of the school of engineering and technology at SUNY Canton.
Canton already offers a class on wind turbines and the school says it will have benefits for students in a variety of programs.
On Wednesday, school officials will release a balloon to the height of the proposed turbine to give residents an idea of how high the tower will be.
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