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Published: Sunday, 9/13/2009

Wind turbine at Owens to give power, help jobless

Owens Community College's first wind turbine was installed Friday to be used to generate electricity for at least one building on campus and studied as part of a new educational program for unemployed workers.

The 2.4-kilowatt turbine generator will convert wind power into electricity for the Industrial and Engineering Technologies Building on campus. The device and installation will cost Owens about $20,000.

The turbine was built on a hinged base, so students will be able to pull the unit down and study the mechanics of the device hands-on, said Joe Peschel, coordinator of customized training at Owens. Mr. Peschel assisted with the installation yesterday.

"We believe that when you try to teach some of the fundamentals of installing wind turbines, they should actually experience what's involved in taking the turbine down and bringing it up," Mr. Peschel said. "This will be the first one in this area that will be taken down."

A similar hinged-design will be used for a turbine at Hocking College, a school in southern Ohio.

Eighteen unemployed workers will learn how to install and maintain wind turbines in a 172-hour certification class to begin Sept. 28. The training may be developed later into an associate degree program, Owens spokesman Brad Meyer said.

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