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Source: Ruth Douglas Miller, 785-532-4596, rdmiller@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.eece.ksu.edu/psg/wac/
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535, bbohn@k-state.edu

Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

SOLOMON LATEST SCHOOL TO PARTICIPATE IN KANSAS WIND FOR SCHOOLS PROGRAM

MANHATTAN -- The 12th Wind for Schools turbine in Kansas will be installed 9 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, at the Solomon High School football field. The turbine will be used to power the concessions stand.

The Kansas Wind for Schools program works with the Wind Applications Center at Kansas State University, offering the opportunity for elementary and secondary schools in rural parts of the state to get a small wind turbine for educational and outreach purposes. The program began in 2008.

Ruth Douglas Miller, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at K-State and director of the Wind Applications Center, said the Solomon turbine is the first to be installed in the program's 2009-2010 cycle.

"Joni Carver, a middle school science teacher at Solomon, has guided this project to fruition, having her students write the original proposal to the Wind Applications Center in spring 2009," Miller said. "She also aggressively sought funding sources as finances within the district tightened."

Miller said DS&O, the electric utility in Solomon, and Bill Smalley, Smalley Heating and Cooling in Topeka, are providing labor and financial assistance to the project. Additional support for the project has been provided from a Lowe's Toolbox for Education grant.

"We have been working and waiting for this turbine for more than a year. We are anxious to see the blades spinning and learn more about wind energy," said Lindsey Teeters, a freshman at Solomon High School. As an eighth-grader, Teeters helped start the drive for the turbine more than year ago.

The Wind Applications Center is currently accepting proposals from schools interested in having a turbine. Miller said the schools selected will receive significant help with costs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The schools also receive a Skystream 3.7 turbine at a substantial discount, as well as assistance with installation and help with using data collected from the turbines.

"Our goal is to install five small wind turbines per year at K-12 schools across the state," Miller said. They'll be used to teach Kansas children about wind energy and prepare them for growing wind energy work force needs."

Miller said while the turbines generate about $30 worth of electricity monthly, they provide much more in education investment.

An application form and more information on the Kansas Winds for Schools program is available at http://www.eece.ksu.edu/psg/wac/WfS.html. Though the application deadline is past, Miller said interested schools should contact the center, 785-532-4596, for assistance and more information.