It began in March, involved more than 50 loads of cement, 60 tons of rebar, and one very large crane, but construction of the University of Delaware's 2-megawatt wind turbine is now complete. A time lapse video of the action is available here.
Construction on the turbine took place at UD's Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes and was completed last week. The machine, which stands 400 feet tall from the base to the blade at peak rotation, required dozens of construction workers.
The machine is undergoing testing and will be connected to the local electric grid and fully operating later this spring.
Once connected, the turbine is expected to generate about 5.3 million kilowatt hours each year — more than what's needed to power the Lewes campus. Surplus energy created by the machine will be made available to the Lewes Board of Public Works and its customers.
The effort is spearheaded by UD and Gamesa Technology Corporation Inc., with the City of Lewes and Sustainable Energy Developments Inc. as key partners. In addition to providing carbon-free electricity generation, the project will enhance research in areas such as turbine corrosion, avian impacts, and policy issues related to renewable energy. Information gained from the project is expected to help the university and Gamesa establish what could be the first offshore wind turbine in the Americas in 2011 or 2012.
Construction photos and other information about the project can be found at www.ceoe.udel.edu/LewesTurbine
For more about UD's College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, visit www.ceoe.udel.edu.