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Wind turbine project planned at Northampton Community College’s Monroe Campus

Northampton Community College has continued its pledge to make energy efficiency a priority on its Monroe campus in Tannersville.

Officials at the college are now soliciting bids for the installation of a 10 kilowatt wind turbine to sit atop a 73-foot monopole that will be erected on campus and connected to the school’s electrical system in its electrical wiring laboratory.

The installation of a wind turbine would offer high reliability, low maintenance, and automatic operation in adverse weather conditions, which the region has experienced much of this winter.

“Wind energy and solar photovoltaic energy classes will be offered on campus, where students will have access to the working 10 kilowatt wind turbine and our 637 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system,” said Mark Culp, the director of facilities and public safety and the college.

Already, NCC has received recognition for its move toward sustainable energy, being environmentally friendly and for having a safe overall campus. Last year, the college moved forward with plans to install two lighted crosswalks and medians on its Bethlehem campus in order to slow traffic and better enable drivers to see pedestrians.

American School & University Magazine reported that the new crosswalk, which requires Pennsylvania Department of Transportation approval, is slated to be located on Green Pond Road, a perennial trouble spot for the college. An average of more than 2,300 vehicles travel that stretch of road every day.

NCC spokeswoman Heidi Butler said the college also received a special citation for sustainability and site planning from the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Institute for Architects.

The award, presented in December, cited the commitment of school officials to minimize the environmental impact of the new campus.

Already built to LEED-gold standards, the campus uses solar photovoltaic panels, central geothermal heating and cooling, and high-efficiency heating, cooling and lighting systems that will reduce annual energy consumption by 80 percent compared to traditional construction, Butler said.

Strunk-Albert Engineering of East Stroudsburg has been tabbed as the design firm for the wind turbine project, Culp said.

In a published notice, the school has requested sealed bids for the wind turbine, and officials plan to hold a pre-bid meeting at 9 a.m. April 3 in the main lobby of Keystone Hall on the Monroe campus. The bids will be opened April 14.