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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yankton Super: SD "Pokey" on Wind Power

The Yankton School District just announced it will erect a 2.4-kilowatt wind turbine to provide a little green juice to its new bus barn and admin building. It's not much, but every little bit helps. The wind turbine will also help teach kids about wind power, as do the turbines at Sanborn Central and a handful of other forward-thinking South Dakota schools.

The quote of the day comes from Yankton Superintendent Dr. Joe Gertsema:

South Dakota's been a little bit pokey about... getting to the wind energy.... There are a couple schools in Iowa -- I know there's one for sure -- where they literally have put up these towers to generate energy to run their school. [Dr. Joe Gertsema, interview, WNAX Radio, 2009.09.23]

Hit the books, kids! Dr. G. says we've got some catching up to do!


  1. The real quote of the day from this story, and a lesson the kids should learn, is this:

    "Officials say it will produce about enough power to run a washing machine and will cost about $8,000."

    What a concept! Spend $500 on a washing machine and $8,000 on a wind machine to power it. Is there an economics lesson here?

    -Ralph Hansen

  2. Yeah, Ralph, a lesson in economies of scale and innovation. I remember when computers were an expensive per-unit investment. Then more people started getting them. Then the prices dropped. Then more people started getting them.... Demand rises, price drops, innovation goes faster....

    The turbine is a great investment for the school. They get some power, and kids get to learn about the new equipment that will become the standard for energy distribution when they are in the workforce. I also hear wind power offers some really good jobs. Stay tuned....

    Curious, Ralph: have you contacted the Yankton school board members who approved this purchase? If it's such a boondoggle, why did Dr. Gertsema spend tax dollars on it? Why did parents ask for it?

  3. I've known Joe Gertsema since he was in college at DSU. He's a super smart guy with a lot of what you call "smarts". Wind power - wind power - wind power. He's sees the future and goes for the big picture. Good for Joe and the Yankton school district.



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