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Renewable Energy

Wind Turbine 1

Carleton installed its first, 1.65-MW wind turbine in 2004 - and was the first higher-ed institution in the country to do so! The electricity that it produces is sold back to our energy provider Xcel Energy, rather than connecting it directly to our campus grid, but this indirect energy production is equivalent to approximately one-third of Carleton's total energy usage.

Wind Turbine 2

Carleton built its second wind turbine in 2011, thanks to a generous grant in 2008 from environmentally-minded alumni Richard and Laurie Kracum (both '76) that the Star Tribune nicknamed a "400-foot-tall anniversary gift." After a three-year process of gaining approval from the Northfield City Council, searching for a location that was compatible with zoning regulations, and finding a company to build the turbine itself, the turbine was fully assembled in September 2011, and unveiled to the public on October 21, 2011.  The turbine is expected to produce 4,000 - 5,000 MWh of electricity per year, serving more than 25% of the campus electric load. 

Amber Kim ('14) made a time-lapse video of the construction of the second turbine which was submitted to Second Nature's Climate Leadership Awards. Unfortunately that video is no longer available.

Solar PV Rooftop Array

A 10.6 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) panel array was installed on the Cassat-James roof as part of this residence hall construction project in 2009.  Electricity production averages 10 MWh per year.  See the Cassat-James Greentouch screen link for further information. 

Solar Thermal Rooftop Array

A solar thermal panel array was installed on the Cassat-James roof as part of this residence hall construction project in 2009.   The array provides solar-heated water to the buildings' primary domestic hot water tank which is supplemented by a traditional steam-heated water tank.  See the Cassat-James Greentouch screen link for further information.