Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi President Flavius Killebrew officially “flipped the switch” recently to turn on three 20-kW vertical axis wind turbines, which make up the largest vertical-axis wind turbine installation of its kind in the United States.
The site at the main campus also includes a small 4-kW campus wind turbine, which can be lowered horizontally and opened for education and research. The 20-kW turbines are also the largest of their kind in the continental U.S.
In all, three Texas A&M-Corpus Christi locations will showcase a total of 11 wind turbines with a total capacity of 92 kW. The turbines have real-time data collection for faculty and students in engineering to analyze on a network.
“The wind-turbine project is an opportunity to show how the University is emerging as a leader in renewable energy,” said Killebrew. “This initiative will provide students and faculty with excellent learning and research opportunities, and open doors for future generations who want to pursue this green technology.”
The 20-kW wind turbines stand 75-feet tall, while the 4-kW turbines stand at 40 feet. The wind turbines are on the:
- Main Campus. Four (three 20-kW, one 4-kW) turbines, near the Jellyfish parking lot
- Momentum Campus. Three (4-kW) turbines near the Nile Drive/Ennis Joslin Road intersection
- Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center in Flour Bluff: Four (4-kW) turbines
The initiative was funded by a $955,000 Distributed Renewable Energy Technology Stimulus Grant from the State Energy Conservation Office and the U.S. Department of Energy. The University then matched $265,000 in funds, for a total of $1.2 million for the project.
The turbines were distributed by 3eWerks, manufactured by Urban Green Energy, and installed by Nouveau Construction and Technology Services. The wind turbines will create opportunities for learning, research, and innovation to apply engineering principles to real-world wind power generation, according to Dr. L.D. Chen, associate dean of Engineering and Computing Sciences and director of the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. “Small wind turbine technology is emerging for distributed and community wind power generation. It has seen a significant increase in installed electricity generation over the past 10 years,” said Chen. The wind turbines will produce an estimated 217,946 kW hours of electricity generated from renewable resources. For an interactive look at the wind turbines project, go to http://windenergy.tamucc.edu.
Texas A&M Corpus Christi