Wind Turbine Powers Devils Lake College, Students' Minds - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Wind Turbine Powers Devils Lake College, Students' Minds

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They've replaced the grain bins and now decorate many parts of the North Dakota landscape.
There are close to 1,000 wind turbines in the state, producing enough electricity to power about 390,000 homes, which is more homes than the state has right now.
But there's one turbine powering more than just houses.

Along the North Dakota prairie, hundreds of feet high up in the sky, stands this lone wind turbine.

As the blades spin on this powerful machine, down below, the minds of these students are turning as well.
These guys are part of the wind energy technician program at Lake Region State College and this is their classroom.

Jay Johnson is the instructor.

"Only 6-8 schools have committed to develop this program and Lake Region is one of those programs," says Johnson.

He says the program has been apart of the college for a couple of years now but it was always missing a vital part.

"It really is a crazy piece of technology," says Johnson.

This past spring, the program finally got what it was missing.

"The tower is 28 meters," says Johnson.

Students get a true hands on experience.
But it's not just the outside they are learning on.
Every step, every level, is a new learning adventure.
"it' s crazy knowing we can climb a tower and learn something," says Nate Hoarder, student in the class.

This 250 foot wind turbine isn't just powering the minds of these students, add a little wire, and that classroom out there is powering this classroom in here.

"It powers enough power for the entire campus that we take the rest and sell it. The proceeds pay off cost of turbine," says Dr. Doug Darling, president of Lake Region State College.

Dr. Darling says this is just one of the invoices the college has received from the electric company.

"I smiled all the way to the bank," says Dr. Darling.

Dr. Darling says the turbine was the one piece that was missing from the college.
Now this two and a half million dollar piece, leaves it's mark dancing on the prairie below, illuminating not just the school,but the careers of the next generation.

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