LATI Wind Turbine Goes Up East of Watertown

The energy programs at Lake Area Technical Institute have a hot new arrival – a fully operational mini wind turbine to be used for training and power production.

Thanks to a Congressionally Directed Energy Technology Grant, LATI was able to purchase the turbine along with several other breakthrough energy training devices in time for the 2011-2012 school year. With installation, the miniature turbine cost a little over $200,000. It measures 78 feet at the hub and will contribute approximately 96 kW of power to the Watertown grid.

Energy Instructor Roger Solum says that while the LATI wind turbine isn’t a match in height to the full-sized versions (most measure about 262 feet at the hub), the “concepts are exactly the same.” Solum expects that Energy students will not be the only ones to benefit from the presence of the turbine. The Precision Machining, Welding, Robotics, and even Aviation students will also get valuable cross-discipline experience with the latest materials and workings of the wind energy field.

The turbine, proudly marked “Lake Area Tech” is located just north of Stone’s Truck stop off I-29 and Highway 212.