Thompson Rivers University

TRUly enough wind to power TRU?

January 10, 2016

Does TRU receive enough wind to justify one or more wind turbines? This tower is collecting data and answers will be revealed later this year.

Does enough wind blow through TRU to supply some of the university’s energy needs? If so, would it make sense to have one or more small wind turbines in place?

The answers to those questions and others are about another six months away once data is collected and analyzed from a metal tower located atop a hill behind the trades and technology building. Little propellers attached at various points on the tower are spinning and feeding information to an onboard storage device. Initiated by the office of environment and sustainability and created and put in place by local company Riverside Energy Systems, the structure is ideally located away from other buildings or natural features. Being unobstructed, it receives wind from every direction.

Jim Gudjonson is TRU’s director of environment sustainability and said TRU is likely some years away from using wind because of the substantial costs at this time for equipment and maintenance. However, “the cost will come down because technologies are always advancing,” he said, and when they do, TRU will have usable data to make an informed decision.

It’s possible equipment costs could come down sooner than expected in the wake of the United States Congress last month extending tax and investment credits to companies involved in research and design of wind and solar power.

Among TRU’s many sustainability initiatives, the university offsets its non-renewable energy use with solar collected from panels atop Old Main, Campus Activity Centre and the Culinary Arts Training Centre.

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More information
Jim Gudjonson
Thompson Rivers University
Director, Office of Environment and Sustainability

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