Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wind Turbine at Kanza Park Completed


“You look at this wind turbine going up and think what are the possibilities for students in our district to learn about energy.” Those words from Topeka Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford yesterday as she watched the blades being attached to a 100 kilowatt wind turbine at the school district’s Kanza Education and Science Park.

The 160 foot tall structure will not only produce energy for Topeka Public Schools, but will serve as an education tool for students according to Brad Loveless of Westar Energy. “It will provide a chance for kids to get up close and see the wind turbine inside and see the output of the turbine. That’s where the real education comes,” said Loveless.

The wind turbine is the result of a partnership between Topeka Public Schools and Westar Energy. The turbine is just the first visible step in creating a renewable energy learning center for students and families. The learning center will be located in an old milk barn just east of the wind turbine. Westar plans to build a new state of the art sub-station near the energy center. The three will be tied together providing an exciting learning atmosphere for students.

Topeka Public Schools Deputy Superintendent of Operations Larry Robbins hopes the energy learning center will become an educational destination. “Whether you are an educator, not only from this community but across the state, if you are looking for a destination for an educational activity, this is going to be it,” said Robbins.

The blades of the wind turbine, which are visible from Interstate-70, should be turning and producing energy within a few days.