PARKER, Colo. (CBS) – A school in Parker is harvesting the wind to power their school and to teach lessons.

On Saturday a 52 foot wind turbine turned for the first time at Ponderosa High School.

A student club helped submit a grant application for the turbine. They received $10,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind for Schools program.

“The students are just nuts about the idea that they can actually turn their good thoughts into hard work,” program facilitator Tom Potter told CBS4.

The turbine will run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students will study how it works and how wind energy is measured.

Meanwhile, the Douglas County School District is putting solar panels on 30 schools in Highlands Ranch. The 25-year project is expected to save the district millions of dollars in energy costs.

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Comments (11)
  1. alex holcomb says:

    im very happy that ponderosa’s peace jam as yet accomplished another amazing feat.

  2. Becky Holcomb says:

    i am another member of peace jam thank you all for your support we hope to have support from you all in our future environment projects

  3. Kara English says:

    Thank you for all the encouragement! I’m a member of Ponderosa’s Peacejam and it’s always great to hear from the community about our accomplishments. We hope we’ll continue to make you proud in the future!

  4. Michael Kostrzewa, Director of Colorado Wind Application Center at CSU says:

    A clarification to the story on the funding. The $10,000 grant was from the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office through a competitive application process – these funds did not come directly from the U.S. Dept. of Energy. To be sure, these funds originated from the ARRA stimulus funds that the GEO received. But It was the designation of these funds to the Wind for Schools program that is to be noted and truly appreciated.

  5. evelyn olsen says:

    Hey, how ’bout telling us that Tim Olsen designed and installed the turbine!!!!!

  6. Tim Olslen says:

    PS: I just read the article. Actually, the turbine will run about a third of the time when the wind blows, similar to solar PV which generates when the sun shines.

  7. Tim Olsen says:

    Hi Mike,
    You have to have a backup plan of some kind, somewhat like farming, but on a different time scale. We have limited seasons to harvest, so we need to compensate by canning or having friends in Argentina. For wind and solar, we either need battery (or other) storage, or else we draw on hydro or natural gas or coal power when it’s calm and dark. But when the wind blows, we can store that coal unburned until later. As you might expect this creates some very interesting challenges for the utility industry, but they’re a pretty smart bunch, hopefully with even smarter new students headed their way some day!

  8. Mike says:

    What if it’s not a windy day? How will the turbine turn 24-7?

    Just like with solar panels, how do those work at night or on a cloudy day?

    It’s not always windy and it’s not always sunny even in Denver!

    But props to them for trying I guess.

  9. Ashley says:

    Congrats Ponderosa! What an extraordinary accomplishment. As an alum of Ponderosa, I am so proud to see the efforts that the school and students are taking towards sustainability and environmentalism. Let the wind blow strong!

  10. Hillary says:

    That is the smartest, most forward-thinking thing I have heard all day. Congratulations students of Ponderosa High School and the teachers/parents/administration that support this project.

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