The University of North Texas (UNT) will soon have bragging rights as the first university in the state to sport wind turbines on campus. Three turbines are to be installed near the University’s new football stadium, which is wrapping up construction and due to open this September. According to a statement from HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, who is handling the stadium design, the turbines should be up and running by the end of this year.
Funding for the turbine installation comes by way of a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office that the university won. To get it, the university had to meet certain requirements set forth by both the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the State Energy Conservation Office.
The installation will involve three “community-scale” wind turbines that are intended for use in small scale install. They are relatively quiet (50 decibels at 131 feet) and designed to function well in low-wind conditions, since the North Texas region has a 12 MPH wind average. Each turbine is rated at 100 kilowatts and is expected to offset the energy consumption of the “Mean Green Village” section of campus by about 6 percent and eliminate 323 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
The three turbines are to be placed on the southwest side of the new stadium and, as such, will be easily visible to passers by. Aside from providing energy for stadium and campus operations, the university hopes the high profile presence of the turbines will make a statement about the school’s commitment to renewable energy. It also intends to use telemetry gathered from the turbines for educational purposes.
The new stadium replaces 57-year-old Fouts Field and is designed by the same group of architects that designed the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. UNT says it will be seeking LEED Gold or Platinum certification and that, If the project is awarded LEED Platinum, it would be the first of its type in the US to do so.
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