Williston State College installs emergency generator on campus
by WSC News
Posted on 2/4/2013
WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College is pleased to announce that the purchase and installation of an emergency generator has been completed. With cold weather and the possibility of blizzards upon us, this was good news for WSC.
The need for a large generator was established in spring 2011 when power to Williston and the surrounding areas was out for about four days. With more than 200 individuals living on-campus at the time and numerous others in the area who were affected by the power outages, WSC President Dr. Raymond Nadolny started diligently pursuing the possibility of purchasing emergency generators for the college.
At the time of the 2011 power outage, the weather was warm enough that there was no danger of anyone freezing from extreme cold. However, Nadolny was concerned about what would happen if this type of outage occurred when temperatures were below freezing.
With no money in the college's general budget to pay for the $400,000 project, Nadolny approached the State Board of Higher Education to request approval to install a 500 KW generator. The request then went to the ND State Legislature which met in special session in November 2011, to request funding approval.
The board and the legislature agreed with his assessment of the situation and approved the project.
"There is no way we could have done this without that allocation from the state," said WSC Vice President for Business Services James Foertsch.
The generator holds 5,000 gallons of diesel and will provide power and heat to Stevens Hall, the main building on campus, which also includes the college's cafeteria. It is also possible that if another power outage on this scale happened, the college could be a potential emergency shelter for the community.
"With Williston growing into a large community, having this type of support and back-up is absolutely critical, not just for the college, but also for the community," Nadolny stated.
With all the challenges of living in an area impacted by the oil boom, Nadolny is thankful that the generator was able to be approved, received and installed in a fairly short amount of time.
"We all know the work it takes to make things happen in this area which is so busy and overwhelmed, but these services are truly critical for us to continue to move forward.
WSC is currently revamping its emergency preparedness plans to include future use of the new generator.