When we got off the bus at Jorgen Tranberg’s farm we felt as if we’d left Samso and gone back to Iowa. The sights, sounds and smells were familiar to many of us who grew up in the rural Midwest. Upon closer glance, however, we realized there was one prominent feature that set this farm apart from those that we know back home: a wind turbine! If it wouldn’t have been so foggy we could’ve seen Jorgen’s wind turbine from the road, but it didn’t reveal itself to us until we made it to the end of a very icy driveway that wound through the farm fields.
Jorgen Tranberg decided to put up a wind turbine about a decade ago after he figured out that it was a smart economic choice. With energy costs rising, he discovered that he could erect a 1MW wind turbine on his land that would not only pay for itself in 5-6 years, but also provide all the energy he needs for his farm operations. Jorgen is always checking the latest electricity prices so he sells his electricity for the best price possible. Prices are best when Norway hasn’t had much rain and hydro isn’t running at full capacity. In addition to the turbine he has on his property, Jorgen also owns part of an offshore turbine.
We not only got to see the wind turbine, we got the chance to climb it! One by one students began to ascend the nearly 200 feet to the top of the turbine. They were startled when the turbine began to open up while they were standing at the top. Turned out this turbine was special and had a viewing platform! The turbine was turned off for the climb, but the energy was abundant as students descended and told about their experience.