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Sources: Dan Nagengast, 785-748-0959, nagengast@earthlink.net;
and Ruth Douglas Miller, 785-532-4596, rdmiller@k-state.edu
Web site: http://www.eece.ksu.edu/psg/wac/

Friday, March 6, 2009

KANSAS RURAL CENTER AND K-STATE'S KANSAS WIND APPLICATIONS CENTER TAKING PROPOSALS TO PARTICIPATE IN WIND FOR SCHOOLS PROGRAM

MANHATTAN -- The Kansas Rural Center and the Kansas Wind Applications Center at Kansas State University are currently accepting proposals to participate in the Wind for Schools program. The submission deadline is Wednesday, April 15.

Five rural schools will be selected to install 1.9 kilowatt wind turbines in order to encourage integration of renewable energy education in their K-12 science curriculum. The Wind for Schools program aims to train young engineers for jobs in the rapidly growing wind industry and to increase public awareness and understanding of wind power.

Schools receiving Wind for Schools' turbines are expected to incorporate education about wind energy into their science, math and social studies curricula, including how turbines work and how to collect, process and understand the data the turbines will provide.

"Our children will clearly be powering their world with renewable energy. We are in a transition from fossil fuels, and now is the time for them to explore and become comfortable with all these new forms of energy," said Dan Nagengast, executive director of the Kansas Rural Center and coordinator of the Winds for Schools program. "This project opens the door to great opportunities for young Kansans."

The criteria used for evaluation of applicant schools includes: a wind classification of class 3 or better; a high and open turbine site location; community awareness and desire; administrative support at the school; and the willingness and ability of the science teacher or teachers to incorporate, with assistance, the turbine into school curriculum.

The Wind for Schools program does not cover the entire cost of the turbine and installation. "We probably cover about half the total cost, depending on the school's installation choices," Nagengast said.

The project will install the Southwest Windpower Skystream 3.7, a 1.9 kW turbine suitable for residential use. With a blade diameter of slightly more than 12 feet, the Skystream typically generates $300 to $400 worth of electricity in a year. The Skystream is the first wind generator with the controls and invertor built into the turbine. More information on the Skystream is available at the Southwest Windpower Web site, http://www.skystremenergy.com/skystream/

The Wind for Schools program is supported by the National Renewable Energy Center Laboratory and started in 2007 with five schools across Kansas. An additional five schools were selected in 2008.

More information on the Wind for Schools project, including application criteria and the proposal format, is available at http://www.eece.ksu.edu/psg/wac/ or by contacting Ruth Miller at rdmiller@k-state.edu or Nagengast at nagengast@earthlink.net. Proposals can be sent by e-mail to Miller prior to the April 15 deadline.

The Kansas Rural Center is a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable agriculture and resource use, working in collaboration with K-State and the National Renewable Laboratory's Wind Energy Project. More information about the national laboratory is available at:

http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/windpoweringamerica