KSU Stark recieves grant to install wind turbine

Kianna Bugglin

Kent State University at Stark was recently awarded a grant to install a new wind turbine that will benefit students in and out of the classroom.

 The $28,000 Dominion Foundation Higher Education Partnership Grant for the Campus to Career: From the Liberal Arts to the Energy Sector will fund the installation of a new wind turbine that will be installed at the Stark campus by fall 2015.

Christopher Post, associate professor of geography at Stark, was the principal investigator for the grant and took on the responsibility of writing the grant proposal. He said he is excited for the opportunities the turbine will bring to the classroom.

“We have a series of courses in geography, geology, biology and psychology that have been discussed as possible opportunities for integrating the wind turbine into those course plans for further research,” Post said. “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to bring this kind of technology and hopefully have energy efficiency on campus.”

The vertical axis wind turbine will be located next to the new Stark Sciences Building, which is currently under construction and scheduled to open in the fall of 2015, according to a statement released by Cynthia Williams, public relations coordinator for Kent Stark.

Because the turbine is smaller, it will only generate some of the power in the new building.

The turbine marks the second wind energy project for the eight KSU campuses.

This past fall, the Kent State Geauga campus installed a wind turbine that cuts down on energy costs and powers the majority of the parking lot during the night hours. The Geauga turbine will have much more of an environmental impact for its campus, which is significantly smaller than Stark’s.

Many are wondering if main campus, which is typically very windy, will ever install a turbine to cut back on energy costs and support the use of clean and green energy.

Erica Thorwart, sophomore sports administration major on the Kent campus, was raised near wind turbines in rural Pennsylvania and understands their importance. She said she thinks a wind turbine would be a great addition to the university.

“It’s always so windy here anyway, so why not capitalize on that wind?” Thorwart said. “I know the university has a ton of energy efficient plans in place, like in the residence halls. I think that if we added a turbine to the campus it would be a great opportunity to increase sustainability.”

Post added that he believes it will be interesting to see how the turbine will work in a more suburban setting, as opposed to flatter, more rural areas.

“We know a lot about wind turbines in rural flat places,” Post said. “The big question is: What can we produce in this suburban setting with a smaller wind turbine in a part of the country that’s not as windy as what we would see in the Great Plains?”

To find out more about Kent State’s sustainability projects, visit http://www.kent.edu/housing/sustainability-projects.

Contact Kiana Bugglin at [email protected].