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SOLAR POWER TOWER IN MONTANA

WHITEHALL HIGH SCHOOL COMMEMORATES INSTALLATION OF STATE OF THE ART SOLAR AND WIND POWER GENERATION AND EDUCATION PLATFORM

Bozeman, MT. — May, 20th 2013 — Independent Power and Whitehall High School will celebrate the commissioning of the recently installed Power Tower, a solar and wind hybrid power generating station, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 AM. Students, teachers, members of the press, executives from NorthWestern Energy, and the install team from Independent Power will assemble at the installation site to officially commission the system. Tony Boniface, President of Independent Power , Whitehall faculty members, and NorthWestern Energy will deliver remarks.

The Power Tower is a fully functioning solar and wind hybrid power system that serves as an educational tool as well as a practical energy producer. The project was fully funded by the NorthWestern Energy Universal System Benefits program for the promotion of solar and wind energy education.

The Power Tower is a single tower structure that supports both a 3.5 kW Wind turbine and a 3.3 kW photovoltaic solar array. The tower is unique in that it combines both generators on a single structure that allows the lowering of the turbine to the ground for safe and easy access. The electrical energy produced by these two sources is processed with electronic inverters that synchronize the energy with utility power allowing it to support the school’s electrical load.

The system is fitted with a battery bank that will allow the system to work as a backup power system for critical loads when utility power is out. The tower is fitted with a weather station that records the solar and wind resource. The performance and energy production data from these sources are uploaded to a publicly viewable website.

The Power Tower was originally designed for remote energy needs in the developing world but is proving itself as a powerful educating tool for these two important energy sources right here at home.

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