New England Institute of Technology (N.E. Tech) intends to install wind turbine and solar panels at its Access Road campus along Interstate 95 to reduce the school’s energy bill. Construction of both projects: a 156 feet wind turbine and a 135-panel solar-electric (photovoltaic) system will begin in April 2009. Solar panels to be used belong to SolarWorld AG. Solectria Renewables LLC's two solar inverters will be used. Northwind 100 turbine from Northern Power Systems, Inc. will also be used.
Entire installation process will be undertaken by the Alteris Renewables Inc.
The turbine, capable of generating up to 100 kilowatts (kW) of electricity, “is extremely quiet as it spins,” as per N. E. Tech. At the site’s estimated average wind speed of 11.9 mph (5.3 meters per second), it could generate about 164,029 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year. The solar installation will be capable of producing another 23.63 kW of electricity. Together, the school said, they could generate enough electricity to power 18 to 20 homes.
With the launching of the alternative energy initiative, N.E. Tech was “making an investment in its energy future, and in the future of its students, by preparing them for ‘green-collar’ jobs,” school officials said.
The installations “will demonstrate the possibilities of renewable energy generation for both academic purposes and for economic and environmental concerns,” the school said.
“Students will examine the components, installation, environmental impact, maintenance, practicality, site sustainability and local regulations pertaining to renewable-energy sources, and will track the energy produced by New England Tech’s wind turbine and photovoltaic panels,” performing both net-metering and economic-impact analyses, the school said.
Both systems are to be connected to the National Grid electrical system. And, “through recently enacted ‘net metering’ and ‘net billing’ laws, National Grid will credit New England Tech with any extra electricity fed into the grid,” N. E. Tech said.