And so we blew a couple of hours admiring the well-scrubbed little town of Decorah. We saw this seriously attractive young woman play the Hardanger fiddle, we bought some lefse, and we got to meet the farmer who was so helpful for our search. But the first question out my mouth to him was, "Does Luther College own the new wind turbine we saw coming into town?" The reason I was curious is because in Sept of 2006, I posted a Youtube of a wind turbine being built at a sister college in Northfield MN. I know for a fact that St. Olaf is very happy with their wind turbine so I am not a bit surprised their enthusiasm has spread. I was assured that Luther did own the new wind turbine—and much more besides.
So the folks in Decorah didn't need this summer's drought to be convinced that climate change is a serious problem and that now is a good time to reduce our carbon footprint. So while climate change denialism may get you elected Senator from Oklahoma, it's pretty clear that a pretty little college town in NE Iowa understands the problem.
Luther College and Decorah, Iowa, Partner to Help Create a Clean Energy FutureJuly 18, 2012
The first in a new Energy.gov video series about local clean energy projects is Luther College and its partnership with the town of Decorah, Iowa.
Steven Thai Press Assistant
WHAT ARE THE KEY FACTS?
The Energy Department is excited to announce a new video series, "Energy in Our Community," which will feature small communities throughout the country that are striving to become more sustainable, are investing in the green economy, and are bringing the benefits of clean energy to local residents and workers. The Department kicked off the series with a video from Luther College that highlights how Decorah, Iowa, is benefiting from the projects undertaken by the college to reduce its energy waste and deploy clean, renewable energy projects campus-wide.
- Luther College installed a 1.6 megawatt wind turbine last fall that uses geothermal energy to heat and cool the facility.
- This summer Luther established the largest zero-emission facility in Iowa by using a 280 KW solar field to power a 100 plus student residential housing complex.
- Luther also plans to cut its carbon footprint in half by 2015 and become carbon neutral by 2030.
"'Clean Energy in Our Community’ will highlight small communities around the country working to promote clean renewable energy initiatives and how our colleges and universities in particular play a critical role in shaping our communities and driving America’s clean energy economy," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. "Luther College and Decorah, Iowa, are great examples of how our local communities can help lead the way in making sure that America wins the global clean energy race."
Luther College installed a 1.6 megawatt wind turbine last fall. This summer Luther established the largest zero-emission facility in Iowa by using a 280 KW solar field to power a 100 plus student residential housing complex that uses geothermal energy to heat and cool the facility. Luther has also created an Office of Sustainability, which is helping the college reach its goal of cutting its carbon footprint in half by 2015 and becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Along with these commitments, Luther helped others in Decorah, Iowa, establish the Winneshiek Energy District, which has helped the residents of Winneshiek County invest more than $1 million dollars in energy efficiency programs over the past two years.
Decorah and Luther College are not the only communities that are working every day to invest in the clean energy economy. Small communities across the country are continuously building partnerships to become more sustainable, relying on clean energy resources to meet their energy needs. These partnerships often include schools, nonprofits, and local governments.
The Energy Department is committed to supporting communities like Decorah as they invest in clean renewable energy that reduces carbon pollution, creates local jobs, and helps to drive local economies. This series will help connect and feature our small communities nationwide that are investing in clean energy and playing a role in making sure the United States leads the world in the global race for the green jobs of the future. more