Turbine out of commission

In July 2010, Oswego State placed a wind turbine on the roof of Lee Hall to supply the campus with renewable energy. Despite the initial success, the turbine is currently failing to produce any power for the campus.

The wind turbine was built by Impact-Technologies Group, Inc., a sustainable power company based in Syracuse. They have since changed the company name to Kohilo Wind. It stands 18 feet tall, including the stand that supports it. The school paid $50,000 for the turbine, which was expected to produce 40,000 kilowatts of electricity per year. Although it started spinning immediately when installed, the turbine soon ran into problems.

Michael Lotito, the sustainability engineering coordinator at Oswego State since 2012, said the turbine stopped working in 2011.

“I don’t know if we got a full clean year out of it,” Lotito said.

Part of the problem was the untested nature of the turbine.

“What we have is a prototype,” Lotito said.

Alfred Stamm, a professor of meteorology at Oswego State, put it another way.

“The company gave it to us to test,” Stamm said.

He said that the company also failed to give the school data about the power output of the turbine.

The turbine was repaired under warranty by Kohilo Wind, and once again started producing power for the campus. However, renovations being done on Lee Hall in 2013 led to the turbine being placed on the ground, where it did not produce power.

Once the renovations were completed, the turbine was returned to the roof of Lee Hall, where it currently sits. It has not been reconnected yet, and continues to spin freely without generating any power.

“It’s not a very successful turbine,” Stamm said.

Students have similarly expressed frustration with the turbine’s functionality.

“I think it’s a good idea to keep investing [in green technologies],” Kate Riley, an environmental earth science major at Oswego State, said. “But I know lots of people are mad about this.”