Community College thrives on wind energy

Source: By Katie Sampson, Kansas First News • Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013

A Kansas college is leading the state in its expansion of wind energy.

“It’s been a really positive in Cloud County, certainly I think others would agree with that,” says Bob Maxson, the Vice President of Administrative Services at Cloud County Community College.

With its own separate turbines, the school serves as an example offering the only Wind Energy Technology Associate Degree in the country for more than seven years.

“Our turbines run our heating and ventilation and air conditioning system and we’re EPA recognized for that and probably pretty unique, probably in the country,” Maxson says, “I don’t know of any college in the country that has wind turbines running their heating and ventilation system.”

The rest of the state has followed suit – the American Wind Energy Association says Kansas had the most wind projects under construction last year and the state jumped from 14th to 9th place in the total amount of electricity it generates from wind.

Wind energy has created about 4,000 jobs in Kansas ranging up to nearly $70,000 a year, according to the Cloud County website.

“I think Kansas is on the right path in terms of becoming more and more, using more and more green power, I believe in, um, green energy and the use of that,” Maxson says.

Maxson adds since you can’t rely on windy days all the time, there should be a combination with other forms of energy – but he’s confident that as electricity rates climb in the future, those who utilize wind energy will continue to save.