University of North Texas 'mean green' athletics go greener

The school will use a $2 million grant for three wind turbines at its new football stadium, lopping about 6 percent off the associated energy consumption of the complex.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

As part of its new stadium project, the University of North Texas (UNT) will install three wind turbines that will feed the electric grid providing power to the building as well as some other buildings in the nearby athletics complex. The school just snagged a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation office to help fund them, and UNT is being billed as the first college in the United States to use onsite renewable energy at its stadium.

Strictly speaking, the technology will only offset about 6 percent of the stadium's power needs but university administrators and project leaders believe their visual impact will help build awareness about renewable energy. The 100-kilowatt, community-scale wind turbines (designed to work in low wind conditions) will also be used for educational purposes.

Said Chris Mundell, sustainable design manager with HKS DesignGreen, which is responsible for the turbine installation, set to be completed by late 2011:

"These wind turbines will give UNT a trifecta of benefits. They will be an innovative educational tool for UNT students and faculty. The turbines will also be a symbol of sustainability for all the stadium's spectators. Lastly, they help offset energy consumption of the new stadium, making it one of the most energy efficient in the country."

The building (which is being designed by the same group that designed the new Dallas Cowboys stadium) will be registered for a LEED Gold or Platinum rating. It will include a Web-based monitoring system that keeps tabs on energy production, carbon reduction statistics and other data related to the wind turbines.

The stadium is scheduled to open in

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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