By Nate HerringNovember 20, 2012
Tulsa District projects are starting to go green and the Kansas area is leading the way.
For the first time in the district, a wind turbine is being used to produce power at Council Grove Lake, Kan.
A second wind turbine is expected to be operational at John Redmond Reservoir, Kan. in early December. Another could be constructed at Canton Lake in Oklahoma.
"Wind is a clean source of renewable energy that produces no air or water pollution," said Rickey Rayford, engineer for the turbine project. "Since the wind is free, operational costs are nearly zero once the turbine is constructed."
The 70-foot tall, 2.4-kilowatt turbine produces enough electricity to power 24 100-watt light bulbs or six to eight computers at the Council Grove powerhouse.
With this turbine, the Tulsa District becomes one of seven districts using either solar or wind energy at projects. The district is also exploring other renewable energy options at other lakes including the use of geothermal energy systems at seven projects in Kansas and Oklahoma. These projects are expected to be completed in the coming months.
Wind energy has become a feasible option for the Corps with recent developments in technology and mass production of turbines, Rayford said.
"The wind energy industry is booming and globally, generation has more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006," he said. "Industry experts predict that if this pace of growth continues, by 2050, the answer to one third of the world's electricity needs will be found blowing in the wind."