In the fall of 2011, a 120-foot tall, 50-kilowatt wind turbine was assembled and erected on the Björklunden estate. Lawrence alum Steve Schnorr '10 conducted an independent study project that ultimately led to the installation of the wind turbine that started operating in December of 2011.
Here are a few articles that explain more about the turbine and how it's helping Lawrence University's northern campus "go green":
From the Lawrence University Blog:
Originally publised in the Winter 2012 issue of The Boynton Society Newsletter:
By Jason Brozek, assistant professor of government and Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs
Although not visible or audible from the lodge, Lawrence’s most prominent commitment to sustainable, renewable energy is already making an impact. A 120 foot, 50 kilowatt wind turbine was erected at Björklunden in October and began providing approximately 30 percent of the lodge’s energy needs by mid-December. The project, which is generating a great deal of excitement on campus, has been featured on Lawrence’s website and in a front-page story in The Lawrentian . As Associate Vice President of Alumni and Constituency Engagement Mark Breseman ’78 told The Lawrentian, “This turbine is a very positive thing for Lawrence. And the most exciting thing about this project is that this could be just the first step in a more complete sustainability project for the whole college.”
In addition to the energy savings the turbine will provide the lodge, the production of clean energy on-site will substantially reduce Björklunden’s carbon footprint. With an estimated annual production of more than 91,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the turbine will eliminate nearly 75 tons of carbon emissions per year. Given its expected 20-year lifespan, that equals a total reduction of 1,500 tons. For comparison, recent research shows that the average American home produces 19 tons of carbon annually.
Further, the turbine presents an educational opportunity for Lawrence students and Björklunden guests. A display of the turbine’s performance will be remotely accessible in the lodge, as well as to faculty and students back on the Appleton campus. The data will include minute-to-minute energy production, as well as historical trends. Visitors to the lodge and students on campus will be able to see exactly what the turbine is producing any time it’s spinning.
This project began as a student-initiated independent study in the winter of 2009. Once it was determined that a turbine was feasible at Björklunden, a number of faculty, staff, administrators and alumni took up the challenge to bringing the project to completion. The total cost of the turbine was $370,000, with $200,000 coming from Focus on Energy and Wisconsin Public Service grants and the remainder coming from private donations, many by alumni as part of the More Light! campaign. The turbine will be named in honor of Joan and Bob Schaupp ’51.
The wind turbine will have a significant environmental and educational impact at Björklunden and Lawrence both now and into the future.