By Bridget Nash Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
When it comes to wind energy, Enid’s Autry Technology Center is on the cutting edge.
In 2009, Autry installed a wind turbine on its campus not only to provide wind energy to the facility but to offer an educational tool for students looking to go into the wind energy field or who just want to learn more about wind energy.
“Autry Technology Center teaches the basic components of wind energy,” said Monte Roggow, Autry mechtronics instructor.
Those basic components include electricity, electronics, hydraulics, pneumatics, motor controls, programmable logic controllers and mechanics.
“Our students complete the basic training, which would give them the fundamental skills if they choose to go into the wind energy field,” Roggow said.
According to American Wind Energy Association, wind power accounted for 40 percent of all new energy chosen by electric utilities in 2008 and 2009. American Wind Energy Association also states:
• More than 400 American manufacturing plants build wind components.
• About 8,000 components make up a wind turbine, and nearly half of those are now produced in the United States.
• Texas produces most of the nation’s wind power with 10,085 megawatts, but Iowa recently became the first state to exceed 10 percent of energy generation through wind power.
• America’s wind industry added 5,115 megawatts of wind power in 2010, which is only half the amount added the previous year.
• Total wind capacity in the United States stands at 40,180 megawatts, which places the country just behind China in total production.
In Oklahoma, according to Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the state is among 14 producing more than 1,000 megawatts of power, but Oklahoma boasts enough potential wind resources to supply nine percent of the country’s electrical needs.
Currently there are 14 operational wind farms located in Oklahoma.
Autry Technology Center has been in Enid since 1967 and has more than 25 career programs. Autry offers a variety of evening and weekend short-term courses along with its full-time course schedule and trains students for certification in many career fields.
Anyone interested in Autry’s wind energy courses can visit Autry at 1201 W. Willow or at www.autrytech.com.