BISMARCK, N.D. — Bismarck State College officials say the creation of a new wind technician training tower will help provide more training and education to students.

The 32-foot Nacelle Tower located on the west lawn of the university’s National Energy Center of Excellence replicates the top portion of a commercial wind tower, according to The Bismarck Tribune (

It comes complete with a nacelle, the large box-like component at the top of turbine towers, and a hub, which usually stores the tower’s generating components.

The center’s dean Bruce Emmil said it can be nerve-racking when a worker has to perform maintenance on a 280- to 300-foot wind tower hub for the first time. He said the Nacelle Tower’s lower height will allow students to practice in a realistic, yet controlled environment.

The school already has an indoor ladder tower where students can learn how to work their climb assist, but the completion of the Nacelle Tower will allow them to try out techniques and equipment for maneuvers like descents.

Emmil said when students graduate, they will leave with both a degree and a climb and rescue certification. About a dozen students are participating in the wind technician program this fall. The center also has many industry partners wishing to conduct annual training, who have contributed grant money towards the project.

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

Information from: Bismarck Tribune,