Producing electricity from wind offers a renewable, carbon neutral power source that helps Middlebury reduce its carbon footprint. We have a 10 kW wind turbine on campus and have monitored wind data at the Snow Bowl.
At the Recycling Center
Installed in 2005, our 10 kW (kilowatt) wind turbine provides electricity to the nearby Material Recovery Center, powering lights and machinery. The Middlebury turbine has been providing approximately 15% of the electrical needs of the recycling facility. The wind turbine produces more than 8,000 kilowatt-hours annually—roughly equivalent to the annual energy consumption of a home powered entirely by electricity.
The idea for the wind turbine project originated in an Environmental Studies class, and with funding from an environmental council grant students investigated potential campus locations and funding sources for the wind turbine. Middlebury received a $22,500 grant from the United States Department of Energy and partnered with the Vermont Department of Public Service.
At the Snow Bowl
Based on student research at the Middlebury ski area at Worth Mountain, the college is considering wind power at the Snow Bowl as one of many options for renewable energy at Middlebury College.
In 2003-2004, six months of wind data was gathered at Worth Mountain and analyzed for Lauren Throop's senior thesis project. Although there were data limitations, the analysis indicates there may be sufficient wind for a large system. College staff recently met with NRG, a Vermont wind monitoring company, to discuss the possibility of putting up an NRG wind measuring system to gather more data to inform decisions about installing a wind tower.
Information about previous wind monitoring projects at Worth Mountain.