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Learn about UMore's big new turbine at an Oct. 25 open house

At nearly 260 feet in height, the new turbine on the University of Minnesota's UMore Park property towers over nearby trees.

The wind turbine that has risen up on the eastern side of Rosemount is one of three wind energy research and energy projects in the nation. The Eolos Wind Research Station will be an important tool in the creation of new technology for the future of wind energy. And for Jeff Marr and others involved with the project it's just plain exciting.

"This is really unique. It's a publicly owned turbine for research," said Marr.

To show off the 80-meter turbine, the University of Minnesota-led Wind Energy Research Consortium will host a public commissioning event from 1:45 to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 25 at the site. The event will involve a short program that will include remarks from U of M representatives and the U.S. Department of Energy on the significance of the project.

Additionally, Marr said attendees can visit stations on the site that will provide more in-depth information. The stations will include details about the U.S.-made Liberty turbine and the planned research and educational activities that will go on. Clipper Wind Power manufactured the turbine.

According to the Eolos website, consortium researchers are employing laboratory and field-scale experimentation and state-of-the-art computational modeling to tackle a broad range of critical areas in wind energy spanning a wide range of scales.

Marr said the 2.5 megawatt turbine will provide crucial data for companies developing wind technology. As the nation moves toward getting more of its energy from wind, Marr said it will be increasingly important to develop more advanced technology. The Department of Energy has set a goal to get 20 percent of the nation's energy from wind by 2030.

The DOE provided a $7.9 million grant to help build the turbine and develop research and educational tools to go along with it. The rest of the project, about $3.4 million, was paid for by private sector and university match funds. Not all of that money was spent on the turbine and field station.

The final elements of the turbine will be put in place over the next week. Marr said the turbine should be up and running by next week. The turbine will be on the grid and will provide power locally.

The commissioning event will allow residents the opportunity to get up close with the structure. Marr said generally the university will discourage residents from accessing the property because of safety concerns.

"It produces a lot power," said Marr.

General seating for the event will begin at 1:45 p.m. and the program will begin at 2:30 p.m. Attendees should dress for the weather including appropriate outdoor footwear. To RSVP for the event visit

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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