Environmental Protection

State Grant to Fund Turbine Installation at UNT Stadium

Community-scale turbines should be installed on the campus by the end of 2011.

The University of North Texas has received a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office to install three wind turbines that will feed the electrical grid that provides power to UNT’s new football stadium and other buildings on the west side of Interstate 35E near Denton, Texas, according to a university press release.

The stadium, which will open in September, is the first collegiate stadium designed to incorporate onsite renewable energy. The turbines are expected to be installed by the end of the year.

“The effort by the staff of the UNT System and the university to meet the requirements of the Department of Energy and the State Energy Conservation Office to win the grant for these new turbines underscores our commitment to creating a carbon-neutral campus,” said V. Lane Rawlins, president of UNT. “Our university has a 50-year legacy of environmental research and sustainability and we’re proud to be the first university in Texas to install wind turbines on campus. “

It is estimated that the three wind turbines will offset the energy consumption of Mean Green Village, the area of campus surrounding the new stadium, by about 6 percent and eliminate 323 metric tons of carbon dioxide being emitted annually. The turbines will be visible from I-35E and I-35W.

A Web-based monitoring system will provide details on energy production, carbon reduction statistics, and empirical data that can be used for both educational and research purposes. Designed for low wind conditions, the community-scale 100kW wind turbines are well suited for the North Texas region, which has a wind speed average of approximately 12 mph.

Unlike the very large turbines generally found at wind farms, community-scale turbines are considerably smaller and ideal for municipalities, schools, neighborhoods, and universities. The approximate noise level of the turbines is 55 decibels at 40 meters (131 feet), which is equivalent to that of a normal conversation between two people.

The UNT System Board of Regents selected HKS DesignGreen for the design of the turbines and supporting structure. The construction manager will be selected shortly, according to Raynard Kearbey, UNT System associate vice chancellor for system facilities, whose team is overseeing design and construction of the stadium and wind turbines.

Source: UNT

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