A 50-meter finger in the wind
October 2009. Students in the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project
spent the week of October 19 in Soledad, Calif., working with a construction crew to erect and instrument a 50-meter tower to measure the area's potential to deliver wind energy. The group, led by Eric Dale Stoutenburg, hope the numbers will add up for Stanford University to build a wind turbine to generate a megawatt of power, more than enough, for example, to offset the power bill at the university's Hopkins Marine Station along the Monterey County coast. They'll know in a year when their data collection and analysis are complete.
Stanford has helped support the project with grants from the Greenfund and the School of Engineering, and a donation from MAP Royalty. Stoutenburg has also worked closely with the City of Soledad, which is also interested in developing wind power on the site, to help power its adjacent wastewater treatment facility.
"Stanford is committed to developing long-term energy supplies for its campus that reduce both cost and greenhouse gas emissions," said Joe Stagner, the university's executive director for sustainability and energy. "We appreciate the efforts of students in SWEP to help develop renewable energy alternatives and see our support of their program as an investment in Stanford’s future, as well as society’s. Their success in developing small-scale opportunities for renewable energy could lead to larger-scale options for a cleaner and more economical long-term energy supply for Stanford and others."