Wartburg college in Waverly will build a wind turbine, with enough generating capacity to power the biggest building on campus. Wartburg president Jack Ohle says the school will be paying Waverly Light and Power two million dollars over the next 20 years.
Ohle says it’s the right thing to do. "We have to be environmentally conscious. Every single day we are burning carbon that cannot be replaced, and we have to find ways in which to replace this energy — therefore, renewable energy," he says.
The wind-generated electricity will be used to power the new Wartburg-Waverly Sports and Wellness Center, which is being built on campus. The 200,000-square-foot building should be complete by next January.
Ohle says it positions the sports center "on the cutting edge of wind energy," putting the school in the company of only a few institutions across the country that have made similar commitments.
Glenn Cannon is General Manager of Waverly Light & Power. Cannon says Wartburg joins the ranks of "energy innovators," and praised its example of community, noting it’s a major commitment for Wartburg and Waverly. "No matter how small we are, what we do in Waverly affects everybody on the planet," Cannon says, "and until everybody understands that we’ll never solve the environmental challenges that we face."
Congressman Bruce Braley said Iowa’s already third in the country in generating wind energy. Braley says Iowa’s always led innovation in agriculture and renewable fuels, and should set the bar for wind energy. He said this week’s announcement will help ignite a new focus on what we need to be doing to reduce energy consumption and find alternative ways to produce energy. The announcement coincided with Wartburg’s "Earth Week" Celebration and officials hope construction will be finished by next spring.