Wind Turbines Will Soon Dot Hamden Landscape

Quinnipiac's York Hill campus hopes to be one of the greenest college campuses in Connecticut by the time it is complete next year. The school is expecting 20 percent of its electricity to come from wind and solar panels on-site.

"It's a terribly windy spot up here.  We get huge winds up here," says Jefferson Riley, architect of the York Hill Campus.

All that wind will do good, at least that's what Quinnipiac is hoping. At 500 feet above sea level, this new campus is on one of Hamden's highest hills and includes sweeping panoramic views of downtown New Haven and even the north shore of Long Island. That exposure allows York Hill to be buffeted by winds strong enough to power 44 vertical wind turbines that the school will be erecting next year.

Next to the "wind farm" will be a 2,000 room dormitory and 2,000 car parking garage. The campus also includes a massive, state-of-the-art arena, with a basketball court and ice rink with a capacity of 3,500 fans each. That arena, the TD Banknorth Center, opened last year and has attracted large crowds to Quinnipiac's sporting events.

The arena is built into the hillside as an additional energy saving measure. Eliminating the northern exposure reduces the heating and cooling costs necessary for such a large building. Because the building was built into the hill the school estimates that 100,000 cubic yards of dirt and soil was able to stay on the site, as opposed to being trucked off site.

Associate Vice President of Facilities Joe Rubertone says, "First you'd have to find somewhere to put that 100,000 cubic yards of material. Secondly that would get loaded into dump trucks using diesel fuels and would drive from this place to anywhere that can take it."

When the York Hill Campus is complete, QU expects that 20 percent of the new site's power will come from either solar or wind power, helping this school do its part to go green.

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