WORTHINGTON — NextEra Energy Resources LLC has announced the donation of a wind turbine nacelle to Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program.
Weighing approximately 180,000 pounds, the nacelle houses all the generating components of a wind turbine. The nacelle will be incorporated into the program’s curriculum and will provide students with hands-on training.
The nacelle was transported by freight July 16 from Lake Benton II Wind Energy Center, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, located in Pipestone County.
“We are proud to partner with Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Wind Energy Technology program and contribute to such a prestigious training program for wind turbine technicians,” said Danell Herzig, NextEra Energy Resources project director. “Wind technician is one of the fastest growing jobs in the United States, so the direct experience these students can receive from working with the equipment will help them as they progress in their journey to becoming a wind technician.”
“Minnesota West is excited to add this training unit to our Wind Energy program," said Bruce Peterson, Minnesota West Dean of Energy Technologies and Executive Director for the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence. "With this nacelle, we will be able to simulated confined space environments as well as perform the many service and maintenance operations required of wind technicians.
"Our students will experience the 'real world' of a commercial production site here on our campus," Peterson added. "The nacelle provided by NextEra is coming directly from a working wind farm. We greatly appreciate the benefits our students will have to enhance their educational experience,”
NextEra Energy Resources’ subsidiaries currently own and operate two wind facilities in Minnesota and have been providing clean, low-cost energy in the state since 2000. An affiliate of the company is currently developing wind projects in Dodge and Lincoln counties, which will bring significant economic boosts to the local areas, including hundreds of construction jobs and full-time operations jobs.