Wind power at MSU-N
September 23, 2009
Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]
Montana S ta t e Univers i t y - Northern took another step into the renewable energy field Tuesday when it erected a wind power generator. “This demonstrates that the use of technological advances is not only about cost-offsetting and payback time, but also utilization of advanced technologies by institutions of higher learning and helping the students see and touch the future,” Trygve “Spike” Magelssen, who teaches in Northern's College of Technical Sciences, said in an e-mailed message to The Havre Daily News. Magelssen, who wrote the application for the grant that paid for the generator and helped with its installation Tuesday, said the electricity generated from the apparatus is ex p e c t e d to b e p owe r ing theAu t omo t i v e D i a g n o s t i c Building today. It also can be used in a new program being offered by Northern. The grant proposal, submitted by Northern and Independent Power Systems I n c . O f B o z e m a n t o No r t hWe s t e r n En e r g y ' s Universal Systems Benefits program, listed the cost at $33,503.93. The grant was submitted about a year ago and approved last spring. The new wind generator follows Northern's installation of solar panels in 2007, also through a NorthWestern Energy grant , Magel s sen said. The university also is taking other steps to improve energy use, such as installing energy-efficient boilers and more efficient windows. The generator was erected just in time for Northern's new program in wind energy technology, which offers a certificate of applied science in wind energy, Magelssen said. He added that Northern is working to develop an associate degree in that field, as well as incorporate it into the four-year industrial technology degree program. Magelssen said he liked using taxpayer dollars in a way that will reduce expenses at Northern while, at the same time, train people and improve technology that will eventually lower the cost of such systems and make them available to more people.