Downtown Dallas' El Centro College Now Has a Rooftop Wind Farm

For the past six years, apparently, El Centro College has been planning a rooftop wind farm for its Downtown Dallas campus. On Tuesday afternoon -- Earth Day -- the project went live as students watched on a student union video feed.

It's a relatively modest effort as far as wind farms go. The project cost $240,000. When completed, it will include 80 turbines, each about the height of an adult human, capturing enough energy to power the 2,000 computers in El Centro's computer labs and save an estimated $15,000 to $20,000 per year in electricity costs.

Modest or no, DCCCD spokeswoman Ann Hatch is touting the project as "the first wind turbine farm in Dallas County."

A crane hoisted the first 40 turbines to the roof of Building A on Friday. The remaining 40 will be installed in coming months.

David Browning, El Centro's vice president for business affairs, says the turbines have a life expectancy of 30 years and expects they will pay for themselves in about half that time.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.