40 Religious Groups Practicing Creation Care with Wind Turbines

This blog complements “Solar Spirit” – 50 Religious Groups Practicing Creation Care with Solar Panels, posted March 6.

Creation Care merges faith with proactive solutions to protect God’s creation. Next week, the season of Lent begins for millions of faithful people around the world. To mirror the 40 days of Lent, here are 40 churches, religious schools and faith-based organizations around the world that are putting their faith to work by promoting wind energy.

1. St. Croix Reformed Church (Kingshill, Virgin Islands)

"From the beginning our goal was not to 'save the church money.' Rather, we saw the turbine as an opportunity to REDIRECT money we have been spending on electricity, to doing good in the community and school." Credit: St. Croix Reformed Church

2. St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Springdale, Arkansas)

"Three towers, one 60-feet tall and two 45-feet tall, expressing trinitarian faith." Credit: St. Thomas Episcopal Church

 

3. Portsmouth Abbey School (Portsmouth, Rhode Island)

"As wind has been a resource on the site of the School since colonial times, it was determined that a wind turbine could possibly provide the Monastery and School with the best option for a renewable energy source and the greatest savings in energy costs." Credit: Portsmouth Abbey School

 

4. Dalehead Church (Lancashire, England, United Kingdom)

"Not many churches can say they're powered by wind as well as the Holy Spirit!" Dalehead Rev. Mark Russell-Smith. Credit: Christian Ecology Link.

 

5. Luther College (Decorah, Iowa)

"As a leader in college campus environmentalism, Luther has made some serious commitments to renewable energy. In 2013, we completed installation of the largest solar array in Iowa. This brings our total solar array count to three, and we now use solar energy to completely power two facilities that house more than 120 undergraduates. Our wind turbine, erected in 2011, harnesses a second renewable energy source and supplies a third of Luther's power, dramatically reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and enabling us to shrink our carbon footprint while we work toward our goal of carbon neutrality and other sustainability commitments." Credit: Luther College

 

6. Gäwa Christian School, (Elcho Island, Northern Territory, Australia)

"Up until very recently, the school community had been reliant on electricity provided by a diesel generator. As well as being loud, expensive and detrimental to the environment, the generator was extremely unreliable and had been known to break down up to 60 times per day! During the frequent times of power failure, school would be held under the shade of a tree and the community would live by torchlight at night. Even when the generator was fully operational, it would be turned off from 10pm until 6am every night to save on the enormous cost of diesel fuel. Families would sleep without any fans, medication could not be kept at a consistent temperature and there could never be any ice cream in the freezer!! For these and many other reasons, it was imperative that an alternate source of electricity be sought and the vision for environmentally friendly, 24hour power for Gäwa Christian School was created. In 2006, research commenced into the option of clean, green, wind generated power." Credit: Gäwa Christian School

 

7. Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)

“Our intention was to use this project as a stepping stone to additional sustainability initiatives in on-campus energy,” said Anthony Serianni, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and the coordinator for the College of Science Committee on Sustainability (COSCOS). Credit: Notre Dame

 

8. Holy Name of Jesus High School (Windsor, Ontario, Canada)

"Through a Renewable Energy Funding grant from the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board received approval in June 2010 to install vertical axis wind turbines at all of its secondary schools, as well as vertical axis wind turbine/solar hybrid LED lighting units at two of its elementary schools." Credit: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (Editors note: The image indicates the type of turbine at this school; however, it may not be Holy Name of Jesus.)

 

9. Wounded Knee Church of God (Wounded Knee, South Dakota)

"Pastor Stanley and Sylvia have wanted a wind turbine on the church property for a long time. Of course the utility bills for the church and their home are of a major concern especially as this ministry has had to become self-sustaining. When River of Joy, a ministry focused on Native American ministries, visited with Pastor Stanley and Sylvia the idea of getting a wind turbine was born." Credit: Wounded Knee Church of God

 

10. Holy Name Central Catholic Junior Senior High School (Worcester, Massachusetts)

"In addition to the economic benefits that wind power affords, the installation of this wind turbine is an opportunity to implement our responsibility to be a good steward of the earth." Holy Name Director of Institutional Advancement, Mary E. Riordan Credit: Holy Name Central Catholic Junior Senior High School

 

11. St. Mary Catholic School (Huntsville, Ontario, Canada)

"Our Board has a strong focus on supporting green initiatives and that is why our Plant Department submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Education to install wind turbines at some of our schools and we are excited that our proposal was accepted," said Glenn Clarke, Controller of Plant. "We thought it would be an innovative and effective way to demonstrate our commitment to being stewards of God's creation. Whether it's reducing our energy consumption or teaching our students through the curriculum to become better ambassadors for our earth, we are always looking for ways to become more environmentally conscious." Credit: Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board

 

12. Catholic University of America (Washington, DC) – Wind Power Purchase Agreement

“We are committed to improving the environment through the use of green technologies such as cost-efficient wind power,” said The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of Catholic University. “And we hope our students reap the additional benefits of greater awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship.” Credit: Catholic University of America

 

13. Australian Catholic University (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

"The 6-Star Daniel Mannix Building in Melbourne is a prime example of sustainable infrastructure. In the last few months, the solar panels and wind turbines on the building have saved over $35,000 in energy costs." Australia Catholic University. Credit: Australia Catholic University

 

14. Operation Windmill (Planned - Titanyen, Haiti)

"Operation Windmill International is an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to lighting up the lives of children worldwide. Our first stop is Haiti. We have teamed up with the MISSION OF HOPE IN HAITI to utilize wind and solar technology to replace an antiquated diesel fuel system thereby providing more funds to expand future mission services." Operation Windmill International. Credit: Operation Windmill International.

 

15. St. Olaf (Northfield, Minnesota) 

"In 2005 St. Olaf became the first liberal arts college in the nation to construct a utility-grade wind turbine for the sole purpose of providing energy to the campus (Carleton College was the first to construct a turbine, but the electricity it produces is sold to an energy company and added to the general power grid). St. Olaf College's 1.65 megawatt self-generating wind turbine directly supplies up to one-third of the electricity used by the college." Credit: St. Olaf College

 

16. Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

"As Christians, we are called by God to be stewards of Creation. Included in Calvin College's mission statement it says, 'through our learning, we seek to be agents of renewal in the academy, church, and society.' With this as our basis, the renewable energy organization is committed to raising awareness about energy that is clean and sustainable." Jordan Wanner, Calvin College graduate. Credit: Calvin College

 

17. St. Joan of Arc Catholic High School (Barrie, Ontario, Canada)

"There are a number of ways that our schools and board will benefit from the installation of these wind turbines. There will be annual costs savings since the turbines can produce enough green energy to power an estimated four classrooms, for each of the five schools. In addition, our students will benefit academically. The system's operations will be integrated into school programs, so that students can learn first-hand how wind energy can benefit society." Credit: Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board; Photo Credit: St. Joan of Arc High School

 

18. Lutheran Church of Hope (West Des Moines, Iowa)

"The 30-foot tall structure sits next to the church building and turns silently in the wind. The church expects the wind turbine to cut its energy bills by as much as 25 percent." Credit: KXAN

 

19. Taylor University (Upland, Indiana)

"We need to inspire students. I was impacted through the moon launches – the challenge of the unknown. If we are going to succeed as a nation, we have to be inspired." – Dr. Hank Voss, Physics and Engineering professor. Photo credit WANE.com

 

20. Blessed Cardinal Newman Catholic School (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

The exponential increase in school participation and certification is “a reflection of how committed board employees are towards the concept of stewardship of God’s gifts,” indicates Grant Ranalli, co-chair of the board’s Social Ecological Responsibility in Education (SERE) committee and Lifetime Achievement Award winner at this year’s Environmentalist of the Year Awards Celebration. Credit: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

 

21. American University (Washington, DC) – Wind Energy Credits

"AU purchases renewable energy credits (RECs) equivalent to 100 percent of the university's expected electricity consumption. By purchasing RECs, AU is sponsoring the production of renewable energy in place of the energy that is delivered to campus via the electricity grid. AU ensures that our RECs have real environmental benefits by purchasing only Green-e-certified RECs from Renewable Choice Energy in the form of wind energy. Green-e is a stringent, independent standard and process for verifying the credibility of renewable energy certificates." Credit: American University

 

22. St. Mary’s High School (Kitchener, Ontario, Canada)

Andy Hanta a teacher at St Mary High School with one of the wind turbines installed at the Whitney Ave school. The Hamilton Catholic School board is installing 7 of these turbines at schools to offset energy costs. St Mary also has this smaller experimental turbine on their property. Credit: TheSpec.com

 

23. Nora Unitarian Universalist Church (Hanska, Minnesota)

“We want to be good stewards of our environment. We’re trying to become more green-oriented and leave less of a carbon footprint. We think it’s the right thing to do.” Darrell Hinsman, Nora Social Justice Committee. Credit: Mankato Free Press. Photo Credit: Nora Unitarian Universalist Church.

 

24. Evangelical Environmental Network (Washington, DC)

"As Christians, we believe that investing in clean, renewable energy fulfills our call to be good stewards of God's creation and to provide for generations yet unborn. It is also an opportunity to show love for our neighbors by reducing their exposure to pollution, pollution that impacts our kids and the unborn. Extending the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) is more than just good policy for clean energy,providing a clean future for our kids, and continuing to protect the unborn from toxin exposure. It aligns with our values." Evangelical Environmental Network. Credit: EEN.

 

25. St. Mary’s Catholic School (Collingwood, Ontario, Canada)

"We are working in partnership with Cleanfield Energy Corporation - an Ontario based company - on this initiative. The units have three vertical blades that are three metres long and rotate around a central vertical axis. The turbines can be roof or ground mounted and stand approximately eight metres off of the ground. These particular units are designed so that minimal noise is generated - the unit has been described as being no louder than that of a computer projector." Credit: Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board

 

26. Wayland Baptist University (Plainview, Texas)

Credit: Wayland Baptist University Alumni Association

 

27. Harvard (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

"Take a look up at the top of Holyoke Center to see our six wind turbines. They are both a symbol of our commitment to green energy and a way to contribute power to Holyoke Center." Credit: Harvard

HRES, in conjunction with Harvard Parking Services, has placed two wind turbines atop the SFP garage. According to Joe Gregory, HRES Assistant Director for Sustainability "All energy produced by the turbines will be used at the parking garage. We anticipate there will be 20,000 kWh of supplementary power produced annually, which will meet approximately 5–10% of the garage's total annual energy needs." Credit: Harvard

 

28. Richland Chapel United Methodist Church (Converse, Indiana)

Carolyn Mikesell, pastor of Richland Chapel, is in tune with the changes, not just with saving-money but with a theological emphasis upon ecology as good stewards. During a recent interview at the church, she said, “We have to wake up… I feel a great need for us to take care of the earth in the way God intended for us to do. As a pastor, it is my responsibility to pass my (ecological) concerns on to the congregation about taking care of the earth. We are destroying what God has given to us to take care of.” Credit: Indiana Conference, United Methodist Church

 

29. Valley Baptist Church (Oswego, Illinois)

"Among the main things we looked at were aesthetics and sound. So far, aesthetically it's very pleasing. Sound-wise, you will not hear it. No sound whatsoever." Rev. David Hemphill Credit: Chicago Tribune. Photo Credit: Valley Baptist Church

 

30. Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

“We often talk about the witness of our teachers and staff,” reflects Chairperson Patrick J. Daly. “Our achievements of the past several years and particularly this year in caring for the environment are a clear indication of the vision, leadership and goodness of our administrators, principals, teachers and staff who live their faith in attitude as much as action.” Credit: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

 

31. Messiah College (Grantham, Pennsylvania) - Wind Power Purchase Agreement

"Through Community Energy, Inc., of Wayne, Pa., Messiah College purchases 4.5 percent of its electricity in the form of wind energy, a renewable energy source. Community Energy is responsible for most of the largest wind energy purchases in the United States." Credit: Messiah College

 

32. Cross Community Church of the Nazarene (Portage, Michigan)

"Loving. Learning. Living. These three words are the actions we see the first church in the Bible participating in. Loving God through worship, Learning from Christ and the culture around them, and Living as Christ in the world for the sake of others. This is what we seek to see happen here at our church. Loving, Learning and Living are like the three blades on a wind turbine. Like the turbine they must be anchored to something. For us, that something is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This has changed everything! And like the very first church in Acts chapter 2, we are called to re-examine and re-evaluate our lives based on this. " Credit: Cross Community Church of the Nazarene

 

"Without the anchor, the turbine cannot do its work. Another thing to note about the turbine is that all three blades are necessary. If one blade is damaged or not present, the turbine fails to function. Loving God without Learning and Living is hollow. Learning without Living and Loving is arrogant. Living without Loving and Learning is incomplete! But the most important thing to remember is that all three blades are nothing without the wind. The church must always turn into the Spirit. We are anchored but flexible. If not, then when the Spirit changes direction we are left to rust. But when we are, we harness the energy that He gives us. An energy that sustains us, supports us, comforts us and motivates us. Loving, Learning and Living with the Spirit transforms us into “A New Church for New People." Credit: Cross Community Church of the Nazarene

 

33. St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

“The Catholic Church in general is very committed to creating a sustainable society,” Father Mark Przybysz says. “Pope Benedict XVI is called the ‘green pope’ because he has put several solar panels on Vatican buildings. I’m hoping that the children and the adults will see this wind turbine at work and that it causes them to think in new ways. There’s always some creative new way to take care of God’s creation, and this is one way. It can make a difference.” Credit: Rapid Growth Media. Photo Credit: Cascade Renewable Energy (turbine photo is representative of the one installed at St. Anthony's)

 

34. St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School (Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada)

"Our board is pleased to be part of a unique wind turbine project as part of the Ministry of Education's Green School Pilot program." Credit: Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board

 

35. First Unitarian Universalist Congregation (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

"In 2002 a discussion started about installing a wind turbine as our church's "steeple"-- a visible symbol of our congregation's commitment to caring for our environment. That conversation led to a blustery day in November, 2003, when congregants Dave Friedrichs, John Wakeman and Dick Brown erected a guy-wired 100' anemometer tower to measure wind energy across a high point on the church's property to evaluate the feasibility of a wind turbine on our property. Eight years later, in December 2011, elements from that 2003 project could still be seen--but now incorporated into our 2.5 kilowatt wind turbine spinning atop its 90 foot monopole." Credit: First Unitarian Universalist Congregation

 

36. Jackson Christian Middle School (Jackson, Michigan)

"What you start with is a vision and a passion." Jackson Christian Middle School Principal, Todd Barney. Credit: Jackson Citizen Patriot

 

37. St. Patrick’s Missionary Society (Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow, Ireland)

"Conscious of the growing awareness that care for the earth is an essential part of any involvement in work for justice and peace, at our headquarters, in Kiltegan in Co Wicklow, St Patrick's Missionary Society has installed a wind turbine, which should supply all our needs for electricity on the compound." Credit: St. Patrick's Missionary Society

 

38. Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Germany (Rostock, Mecklenburg, Germany)

"In Mecklenburg there are currently more than 20 wind turbines on land rented for community lands. The (Church Council) is currently considering whether future resources of the church district for participation in the operation can be used for wind turbines and whether a climate protection fund is established from the profits thus obtained. From the fund energy-saving measures to presbyteries and churches for example, could be co-financed....For self-supply of all property of the North Church with power nine wind turbines of 2.5 MW class would be needed." Credit: Evangelical Lutheran Church in North Germany (Editor's note: The website containing this information was translated from German to English using Google Translate. As we understand, a council of churches encourages individual parishes to rent land for wind turbine development. The churches would then use the extra revenue for energy-saving upgrades. Please excuse the rough translation and let us know if we misunderstood this faith's intent.)

 

39. Sau Mau Ping Catholic Primary School (Hong Kong, China)

"The Sau Mau Ping Catholic Primary School in Hong Kong is committed to educating its pupils in the potential of renewable energy. Among other renewable installations, the Sau Mau Ping School installed a Kestrel e150 small wind turbine. Safety was of the utmost importance due to the installation being in a highly populated area as well as being in the same vicinity as school children. Also, in an urban area the Kestrel system had to be unobtrusive and silent. Before installation structural approvals were given for going ahead with the project, as well as standards and testing completed after installation by a registered auditor." Credit: Kestrel Renewable Energy

 

 40. Baldwin Wallace University (Berea, Ohio)

"This wind turbine is considered small by industry standards. It provides energy output for the typical U.S. single family home," said BW President Richard Durst. "It will serve as an educational tool for Baldwin Wallace Students, a 'model' example of new renewable energy technology that will help to symbolize the College's commitment to leadership in sustainability. It is a part of our larger institutional commitment to transition to an energy society of the future that uses less fossil fuel energy sources and more renewable energy sources. We already have begun to make this transition with our commitment to the use of geothermal heating and cooling systems, waste composting and recycling. In addition, BW has created the first new interdisciplinary major in sustainability in the state of Ohio, which has already attracted 40 students into the major." Credit: Baldwin Wallace University

 

Editors note: So…we found more than 40 religious groups practicing Creation Care with wind turbines. And it’s got us feeling charitable – so here are a few extra, for free! 

 41. St. Michael Indian School (St. Michaels, Arizona)

"The wind turbine is only one of many green projects at St. Michael. On Dec. 12, 2011, St. Michael High students heard the school's grants program director, Manuel Espinoza, explain several efforts at the school to create energy self-sufficiency. The guiding principles of self-reliability and resourcefulness that maintained the 109-year old mission school are as true today as ever." Credit: Navajo Times

 

42. Franciscan Earth Literacy Center (Tiffin, Ohio)

"Care of creation is just a basic part of our mission as Sisters of St. Francis," Sister Janet Hay said. "To make this happen is just a very visible sign of that. To see how we can honor that and not be wasteful and be adding more and more carbons to our atmosphere." Credit: The Advertiser-Tribune. Photo Credit: Sisters of St. Francis and Their Ministries

 

43. Learning and Spirit Lodge (Busby, Montana)

"Through Learning and Spirit Lodge we commit ourselves to manifesting our participation with Mother Earth in the cycles of creation," said Sister Marya Grathwohl. "The wind and solar energy system enables us to fulfill these goals and live these values." Credit: Montana Green Power

 

44. St. Francis University (Loretto, Pennsylvania)

“We try to follow the example of the love for our environment that was shown by our patron, Saint Francis of Assisi,” said University President Gabriel Zeis, at the turbine's blessing and dedication. “The wind turbine will serve as another visible reminder of our mission to be good stewards, in this case a steward of energy resources.” Credit: St. Francis University

 

45. Goshen College (Goshen, Indiana) – Green Power Program

“We did that because we are very concerned about life on this planet, it was one more way we can care for the world and it was part of our broader ecological stewardship commitment,” Goshen College President Jim Brenneman said. “Goshen College, like the Mennonite Church which we are a part of, has always been committed to being global citizens." Credit: Goshen College

 

46. St. Jean de Brebeuf Catholic High School (Vaughan, Ontario, Canada)

"'Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle,' Pope John Paul II warned at a World Day of Peace rally in 1990. Heeding the late pontiff’s call to ecological conversion, Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic schools have responded to the increasing challenges of climate change by adopting the Ontario EcoSchools program to increase their students’ ecological literacy and reduce their carbon footprint." Credit: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

 

47. Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School (Honey Harbour, Ontario, Canada)

"Each of the five schools have website portals so that students and the public can monitor the benefits of the turbines in "real time." These educational websites track how much energy is being created, the carbon footprint and provides learning tools for students." Credit: Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (Editors note: The School Board has installed 8 wind turbines. You may have noticed other schools in this list from Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board. Our Lady of Mercy is represented by the turbine icon in the middle of the map.)

 

48. Cathedral High School (Hamilton, Ontario, Canada)

“It’s important to engage students in learning that will enable them to develop the knowledge, skills, perspectives and practices that they need to be active, environmentally responsible citizens,” says Chairperson Patrick J. Daly. “It’s about shaping attitudes early so our students can make changes in their lifestyle that will be healthier and more sustainable for our environment and natural world.” Credit: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

 

49. St. Thomas More High School (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

"Many of the school-based initiatives are driven by the board’s Social and Ecological Responsibility in Education (SERE) Committee, a committee that meets monthly to plan projects and devise strategies that will assist the board and schools in achieving their environmental objectives." Credit: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

 

 If you know of any religious organizations we’ve missed that are using wind turbines, please post them in the comment section below! 

And be sure to check out these organizations that promote creation care:

Catholic Climate Covenant

Evangelical Environmental Network

Interfaith Power and Light


 

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