FORT WAYNE – After a little bit of wrangling with the zoning board and some delays in construction, Indiana Tech finally got the chance to unveil the latest addition to the schools campus Friday:
A 134-foot-high wind turbine.
Im happy to see it, John Renie, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the school, said during a discussion forum in a parking lot around the turbine.
Its been a long journey, he continued.
The turbine, on Maumee Avenue next to the Zollner Engineering Center, is 120 feet tall but 134 feet high when the blades are included.
While it will help reduce some of the schools energy bills, it will not pay for itself and will mainly be used as a teaching tool, Renie said.
The turbine cost about $110,000, money that came from a grant from Steel Dynamics, according to school officials.
Initially, officials were hoping to have the turbine built by the end of last year but delays ensued. The Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeals asked officials to resubmit a proposal for the turbine at one point, and the company initially tapped to supply the structure went bankrupt.
The turbine is now completely American made, Renie said, and it is expected to generate between 700 and 1,000 kilowatt hours a month – or about the amount of energy used by the average household in the United States.
For a little extra cost, the tower was constructed in a way that will prevent any college students attempts to climb the structure, Renie said.
And coupled with the campuss clock tower, the turbine now adds a symbol of status for the school.
This is an engineering school, and people will see that, Renie said.