In triumph for Maine high school students, turbine goes online

There wasn't any school Saturday, but it was a red-letter day for many students, current and past, of Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport, Me., where the ribbon-cutting was held for a new 100-kW Northern Power Systems wind turbine resulting from an eight-year-long student project.

      The big day arrives at Camden Hills

According to the Bangor Daily News, Chelsea Hunter, a junior at Camden Hills and one of the WindPlanners–the students who conceived the project and pushed it through to completion–the turbine generated enough electricity (3,000 kWh) during its first week of operation to power the equivalent of six average Maine homes for a month.

The article also quoted Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen, who lives nearby and attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, “I live on Cross Street. I’m here to stand in the glory of the silence of this machine. When I was walking my dogs this morning, I saw the turbine through the trees. … This is a model for the future of Maine. This is truly remarkable.”

The WindPlanners' supervisor, science teacher Margo Murphy, said members of the public had been stopping by throughout the week to see the turbine in operation and learn more about it: "What better place to have a turbine [than] at a public school?" Murphy said the wind turbine's operation would become part of the school's science curriculum and added that the project had included a wide variety of educational experiences for the students, as they researched the type of turbine, prepared grant applications, raised money for the machine, and went through the process of getting it permitted.

Congratulations to Ms. Murphy, the WindPlanners, and all the students, faculty and others who worked to make this unique project a reality.

Related articles from AWEA's Into the Wind Blog:

Free at last: High school students get final signoff to install 100-kW wind turbine, December 23, 2011


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