GFC MSU wind turbine coming down

On July 12, Great Falls College MSU will begin removing the wind turbine from its campus. Deconstruction is expected to be complete by July 18. The wind turbine was purchased used from the University of North Dakota. It had also been installed at the wind farm near Raynesford before being moved to GFC MSU.

The turbine, which is no longer operational, stopped working in November and the cost to fix and continually maintain it has become prohibitive, according to a GFC MSU release.

The purchase and installation of the wind turbine was paid for by the Wind Montana grant. Initially, it provided energy to the college and was a training tool for the Sustainable Energy Technician program, which has evolved into the Renewable Energy Technician and Industrial Technician programs. These programs teach students the broad set of skills needed to maintain equipment in all sorts of industrial settings, including renewable energy.

The wind turbine, located immediately south of GFC MSU, was operational from June 2010 to November 2017. During that time it produced approximately 258,000 kwh of electricity, which were used to supplement power to the trades building and the chiller units.

As the turbine comes down, the college stays focused on the future. The concrete pad and electrical conduit will remain.

“By leaving the concrete pad and electrical system, we leave open the opportunity for Great Falls College to explore future renewable energy opportunities,” said Dr. Susan Wolff, CEO and Dean at Great Falls College MSU.

Capcon Construction will dismantle and remove the structure. Parts that are still usable will be salvaged and the remainder of the windmill will be used for scrap.