After considering several potential renewable energy sources -- including wind, solar and biomass -- to power its main campus,
recently decided to go with wind energy from Iberdrola Renewables
’ Blue Creek Wind Farm
in Ohio’s Paulding and Van Wert counties.
Once it settled on wind as an energy source, the school established three qualifying criteria for a supplier, Scott Potter, senior energy advisor, OSU’s Office of Energy and Environment, explains. “The wind energy had to be in Ohio, there had to be sufficient capacity available to cover a significant portion of our campus load and the energy had to be priced competitively.”
The university’s decision was in response to three principle functions – operations, academics and research, he notes.
“It was imperative that the energy company selected would serve our academic and research missions. Iberdrola Renewables demonstrated its commitment to higher education with the donation of a number of meteorological research towers and associated equipment. Two of these towers are already installed and collecting data as part of a research project led by one of our leading wind research experts and his students.”
According to Potter, wind energy is one of the most comprehensive areas of energy research at OSU. The school has researchers focused on wind modeling; turbine, gear and blade design; noise abatement; blade coatings; ecological issues and energy policy. Faculty and students engaged in wind research and education are in several colleges, including the College of Engineering; the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences; the John Glenn School of Public Affairs; and Fisher College of Business.
Based on current rates, price comparisons and projected energy use, OSU estimates it will save approximately $930,000 over the next 12 months with the new wind energy source.
Source: Scott Potter, The Ohio State University
Writer: Lynne Meyer