The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has granted a $6.6 million contract to Syracuse-based firm Northland Associates to design and build a wind power system on the campus of SUNY Canton. The project will allow the college to become more energy efficient using an alternative energy source and reduce dependency on purchased electricity, especially during periods of low energy use.
The project will be handled in two phases. The first involves the design of the power system and the permitting for eventual construction. Input from SUNY Canton and the surrounding community would be sought before commitment to a final design.
The new system will include a single wind turbine, rather than entire wind farm. “I think it is a 2.8 megawatt — it is the size of the ones you see in Lowville or Chateaugay,” said David Gerlach, SUNY Canton vice president for advancement. “It is capable of providing one-third of our power for the campus.” Upon completion and authorization, the construction of the project will begin.Gerlach stated the project has been in development for some time. “This project is something we’ve been talking about with NYPA for a long time, three to four years. We are finally down to a level of serious review.”
There are other benefits to having this new wind turbine on campus, Gerlach explained. “We have a four-year degree in alternative and renewable energy,” he said. “These students would be able to have a very strong academic component built into the project, to be able to see live data and analyze the outputs from the turbine. It would be a wonderful learning possibility.”
Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.