June 30, 2003
Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail: email@example.com
SRU GRADUATE STUDENT INVESTIGATES
POSSIBILITY OF INSTALLING WINDMILLS ON CAMPUS
‘GREEN’ ELECTRICITY FOR UNIVERSITY BUILDINGS, AREA
HEATH GAMACHE INSTALLS 100-FOOT
ROCK, Pa. –Since
Pennsylvania deregulated its electricity market, several wind farms
have been built around the state, like the windmills in Somerset
County. A Slippery Rock University graduate student is taking the
green power movement one step further by investigating whether
conditions are right to install wind turbines on the SRU
Gamache, of Prospect, recently installed a 100-foot meteorological
tower near the university’s football stadium to measure wind
velocity for a year.The tower records wind velocity and direction
data with a wind vane and two anemometers (wind speed measuring devices). The
data is logged onto microchips that Gamache downloads onto a laptop computer for
is in Slippery Rock University’s Master of Science in
Sustainable Systems Program. He is also the assistant director of
environmental education at Camp Luthelyn in
Gamache says he is excited about the
leadership potential that a wind energy project at SRU represents.
No universities in Pennsylvania have a wind farm, he says, and the
opportunities for research and development could be a great example
for other universities around the state.
His initial goal is providing wind energy for SRU’s
Harmony House, located at the university’s Robert A. Macoskey
Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research, but he
clearly has a broader application in mind. Gamache installed a
similar wind tower at his self-sustaining house, Terra Dei
Homestead, at Camp Lutherlyn in Prospect.
If Gamache finds average wind speeds of at least 10 mph
over the 12-month period, a wind turbine could be installed to
produce electricity for SRU buildings. If wind speeds are in the 15
to 25 mph range, conditions could be right for a wind farm that
supplies power for the whole region.
“The turbines that I envision being installed on
campus use propeller-like rotors to spin a generator which creates
electrical current by turning copper coils within a magnetic
field,” he says.
A growing source
energy, a clean source of electricity, is the world’s fastest
growing energy source, according to the American Wind Energy
Association in Washington, D.C. Spokeswoman Kathy Belyeu says it
has increased 24 percent in five years.
windmills in Somerset County – viewed from the Pennsylvania
Turnpike -- produce 2.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity a
year. An average home consumes 10,000 kilowatts a year, according
to Energy Information Agency 1997 statistics.
for three new wind farms in Pennsylvania, all with major power
companies involved, have been finalized, she says. One is near
Wilkes-Barre, another in the Laurel Mountains and a third in the
Pocono Mountains, Belyeu says.
wind potential in the U.S. is just enormous,” Belyeu says.
“Even though Pennsylvania doesn’t make the top-20 list
of windiest states, there is still a lot of
Steven Doherty, assistant professor of parks and
recreational/environemental education, is Gamache's faculty