This summer, several wind turbines have been welded to the rooftop of
the building at 1010 Dale Street North in St. Paul. Soon, a fourth one
will go on a separate pole in the parking lot.
The installation will be the
first urban wind farm in the country, according to building owner Tony
Magnotta, who also heads several companies, including Minnesota Wind Technology
, which is housed in the building. Macalester College
also has a wind turbine-system, but wind as a main power source is a new phenomenon in the city, St. Paul's Monitor
reports. As such, getting the proper city approvals was a challenge.
building will be a kind of test that will help inform more detailed
city policies on the subject further down the line, the Monitor reports.
Additionally, solar panels will also make the building "totally self-sufficient," energy-wise, Magnotta says.
wind turbines that Magnotta is using are the product of a Taiwanese
company that will soon be setting up shop in St. Paul, he says. "These
are the only ones that are viable in an urban environment."
fact, they're built to withstand wind speeds of up to 134 miles per
hour, the Monitor reports. They move with the wind, not against it, and
they shut down when the wind becomes too powerful, the story explains.
$20,000 for each wind turbine and $50,000 for the solar panels, it's a
big investment. But between federal government
incentives and long-term energy savings, he says, it's a good
And, rising utility costs coupled with growing
environmental concerns mean that soon enough "we'll all have to do
this," he says.
Source: Tony Magnotta, CEO, Minnesota Wind Technology, LLC
Writer: Anna Pratt