Wind Turbine Changes Face of Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/26/05

Wind Turbine Changes Face of Lubbock

The Lubbock skyline is changing as crews install a wind turbine equal in height to a 23 story building. As of Tuesday, July 26th, the turbine was still in pieces at the American Wind Power Center in East Lubbock. When complete, it will power the center and 60 area homes. The Wind Power Center is now the only museum in the country to have an operational turbine of this magnitude and the only one in the country to provide energy for itself and part of the community.

The Wind Power Center is known for its collection of water pumping windmills, but the wind turbine, which produces energy, is part of a $2 million project to expand on wind energy. It took a lot of energy just to get the turbine to Lubbock; each piece is so big that one turbine required seven truckloads.

By the weekend of July 30th, a 150,000 pound fully operational wind turbine will be the tallest structure in the Lubbock skyline.

American Wind Power Center Development Director, Glenn Patton said, "It'll be about one and a half size as the Statue of Liberty."

Patton said it's an opportunity for you to get an up close look at the fastest growing energy source in the world. "You can see them up and down the interstate and they're big, but nobody can ever go right up on one and see the magnitude of how big they are."

The first base of the turbine, is 14 feet wide and 80 feet long. Patton said, "It looks like a giant silo, and that's only the bottom half."

The second base piece connects to the first, that part is eight feet wide and over 70 feet tall. 80 bolts, which extend 30 feet into the earth, will hold the turbine to the ground. And to top things off, the nose cone holds all three of the blades, all of which span out 77 feet. Also on top is the piece which houses the generator, it's large enough to hold a Greyhound Bus.

Vestas Turbans Representative Ing Vard said it may look complex, but it's simple to put together. "You just have to stack it put the bolts in, put the cable in at the top and the bottom and put the software in the bottom and control and that's it," says Vard.

The wind turbine should be up and running by the weekend. Once the entire project is finished, the museum will have a section devoted to wind energy.

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