"In the long-term, Dodge’s 20-kw wind turbine will actually save general operating expenses by producing wind power that will reduce the power Dodge needs to purchase. To put this into perspective, an average home uses 10,655 kilowatts of power each year. A 20-kw wind turbine yields 15,000 kilowatts of power each year. The estimated cost-savings from a 20-kw wind turbine is $14,484 per year – that’s almost $15,000 that Dodge can take off its bottom line and put toward restoring the prairie, feeding the animals, or conducting more programs!"
The vision of usefulness for the turbine is three fold:
-To be a leader in sustainable practice in our community
-To provide a powerful teaching tool for students and visitors at Dodge
-To offset energy costs and use a renewable resource
Now, "providing a terrific landmark for pigeons who are learning to home," was not part of the fundraising campaign around this turbine, but it is a nice benefit, if you are a pigeon, or Farmer Don, who trains the Dodge Pigeons (I feel another blog coming on...).
The preschoolers have enjoyed watching the construction of the turbine.
|Digging the Turbine Footings|
It is big abstraction for them right now. When we visit the northeast pasture, the site of the turbine, they see sheep running around workmen and a long lattice of metal. We point to the old farm windmill and say, "Like that. See? A windmill." One child peered up at the blades of the old mill creaking in the breeze and then cast his gaze out at the behemoth in the pasture. "Well," he said, "it's really going to cool us off." Easy to see why concrete experience is so important for young children! It's also why Dodge will be conducting wind energy classes for school-age kids. In these programs, kids will experiment with a kid-sized version of the real thing.
|Old Farm Windmill, Not a Giant Fan|
We are aware that some large scale wind energy programs have sparked debate about avian flight, but here at Dodge, we see our project as a win-win-win-win: great for kids, great for the community, great for the earth, and great for lost pigeons.
Did you know that pigeons are now replacing e-mail in South Africa? Did you know that the Preschool has a pet chicken named, Pidge? Have you ever been invited to a Pigeon Party? No? Well, stay tuned to this blog... Thanks to Jason, Jenny, Joey and Don for their blog inspiration, and thanks to all the generous supporters of the Dodge Wind Energy Project.