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Forum News Service, Published June 18 2013

Devils Lake college to dedicate wind turbine

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Lake Region State College will dedicate a 1.6-megawatt wind turbine Wednesday.

The ceremony, which begins at 1:30 p.m. at the turbine site about four miles northwest of the Devils Lake school, sets a cornerstone for the school’s wind turbine technician training program.

“This project was the missing piece to our wind energy program,” Lake Region President Doug Darling said Monday. “We needed the turbine to turn a good program into a great one. Students feel we have a whole new program now -- one where they can learn theory and then enter the work environment of a commercial grade turbine and reinforce classroom learning with hands-on experience. ”

The project cost about $7.2 million, including the turbine, switch gear and tower facility.

The school has been averaging about 20 freshmen annually for its one-year wind energy technician certificate program. About half of the students stay for a two-year certificate, according to the school.

The wind turbine powers the school, with excess power sold to Otter Tail Power Co., based in Fergus Falls, Minn.