Adobe’s installation of 20 small wind turbines on the sixth floor of their headquarters building made big news recently. But this is even bigger. Quinnipiac University in Connecticut is putting the finishing touches on a micro wind turbine cluster on its new green campus in York Hill. The “wind garden” is made with 25 vertical-axis turbines from Mariah Power and estimated to generate about 32,626 kWh annually.
It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to power half of the external site lights for the 250-acre campus. Installation began in September of last year and, pending grid connection and landscaping, a flip of the switch is coming soon.
This is likely the first cluster of its kind to be installed on an American college campus. The turbines vary in height from 35 to 45 feet, and stone benches have been placed nearby to create somewhat of a gathering space for teachers and students.
Jeff Riley, FAIA, Centerbrook partner in charge of the project, recently said, “Wind power is one of a number of green technologies and approaches incorporated into the site design.” Another is solar power. Nearby, the Crescent Residence Hall is topped with 871 photovoltaic solar panels that generate roughly 232,000 kWh annually.
Incidentally, the small wind turbine market is doing great lately. Mariah Power, maker of the Windspire vertical-axis turbines installed by Quinnipiac University, is one of eight turbine manufacturers to watch, as we’ve identified in reviewing the Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study published by the American Wind Energy Association last summer.
Photo and rendering credits: Centerbrook.