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Nacelle tower dedication at BSC on Oct. 3

Published: Sep 29 2016
Nacelle tower dedication at BSC on Oct. 3 - Photo
On Monday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. the public is invited to attend the Bismarck State College dedication of the new Nacelle Tower located on the west lawn of the National Energy Center of Excellence on the BSC campus. Demonstrations of the tower and a reception will be held afterward. The public is invited.

A nacelle is the top portion of a commercial wind turbine where the generating components are housed. In commercial applications, the nacelle is typically 300 feet in the air. BSC’s Nacelle Tower is 32 feet tall and consists of the shell only.

“Wind technicians are required to have refresher training to safely descend from the top of a wind tower using the appropriate harnesses, rope and rigging equipment.  Having a shorter tower to practice on in a controlled environment, instead of descending from a real wind turbine, is very beneficial. It allows technicians to try different scenarios and perform numerous practice descends before they descend from a much higher elevation,” says Bruce Emmil Dean of the National Energy Center of Excellence at BSC.

The tower will be used by students in the Energy Services & Renewable Technician program as well as by industry partners for employee training. Two instructors at BSC are certified in Wind Turbine Rescue Training and Rope Access Training.

Tower construction began in 2014. It was funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Labor and the North Dakota Department of Commerce Workforce Enhancement program, as well as donations from the Energy Generation Conference, and support from companies including Montana-Dakota Utilities, Minnesota Power, and NextEra Energy.

“Grants and partnerships with industry really enhance our ability to get students prepared to hit the ground running upon hire. Ensuring our students are well prepared for the workforce, and helping companies train their employees is work we are very proud to do,” says BSC President Dr. Larry C. Skogen.

In case of inclement weather, the dedication will take place in Room 335 of the National Energy Center of Excellence, and demonstrations will be provided in a lab setting.

For more information about BSC’s energy programs, visit