WINDY WINTER: Boosting Turbine Energy Output

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While most people are hoping for a mild March after the brutal January and February, Iowa State University found some good in the wild weather. ISU’s wind turbine produced more energy than ever in January.

The university has owned the turbine for 14 months. Even on its best month of producing nearly 17,000-kilowatt-hours, it barely makes a dent in the school's electricity bill.

However, officials say what they appreciate most about it is not what it creates, rather what the wind turbine saves.

“We've saved 67 tons of coal. Instead of burning electricity we bought, the wind make it for us," said Assistant Director of Utilities at Iowa State University, Randy Larabee.

In January, alone the school saved a record amount of coal at nearly 10 tons.

That wind blew into Des Moines as well with some record high wind rates for January. According to a state climatologist, the last time Des Moines had this high of wind speed averages was in March 1986.