The University of North Texas has received a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office to install three wind turbines that will feed the electrical grid that provides power to UNT’s new football stadium and other buildings on the west side of Interstate 35E.
The stadium, which will open in September, is the first collegiate stadium designed to incorporate onsite renewable energy. The turbines are expected to be installed by the end of the year.
It is estimated that the three wind turbines will offset the energy consumption of Mean Green Village, the area of campus surrounding the new stadium, by about 6 percent and eliminate 323 metric tons of carbon dioxide being emitted annually. The turbines will be visible from I-35E and I-35W providing visual evidence of UNT’s commitment to sustainability.
A web-based monitoring system will provide details on energy production, carbon reduction statistics and empirical data that can be used for both educational and research purposes at UNT. Designed for low wind conditions, the community-scale 100kW wind turbines are well suited for the North Texas region, which has a wind speed average of approximately 12 mph.
Unlike the very large turbines generally found at wind farms, community-scale turbines are considerably smaller and ideal for municipalities, schools, neighborhoods, and universities. The approximate noise level of the turbines is 55 decibels at 40 meters (131 feet), which is equivalent to that of a normal conversation between two people.
“The construction of wind turbines at UNT will be an invaluable asset to the university and surrounding communities,” said Richard Escalante, vice chancellor for administrative services. “The reduction in carbon emissions from the use of fossil fuels will be a collective benefit for the entire North Texas region. Sustainable initiatives, such as the use of renewable energy technologies, ensure that future generations of the UNT and Denton communities are equipped with the necessary tools to continue economic expansion while simultaneously protecting the environment and human health.”