Rural school districts in Kansas are receiving small wind turbines as part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Wind for Schools Initiative. The Kansas City Wind for Schools Program and the Wind Applications Center at Kansas State University have selected several schools in Kansas’ Concordia School District to receive a Skystream 3.7 wind turbine.
The small, 1.8 kilowatt turbines will become part of the curriculum at the schools. This is the first round of the three-year program; if all goes as planned, the program will place five turbines each year for the next two years at more schools.
The rural schools or districts selected to receive the initial turbines include the Concordia School District, USD 333, Cloud County; Walton Rural Life Charter Elementary School, Newton School District, USD 373, Harvey County; Fairfield High School, USD 310, Reno County; Sterling School District, USD 376, Rice County; and Ell-Saline School District, USD 307, Saline County.
In addition to the turbines, the Kansas Wind Applications Center will install an anemometer tower and instrumentation at the Southeast Kansas Educational Service Center in Greenbush, which is near Girard in Crawford County, said Miller, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at K-State. An anemometer measures the force or speed of wind.
The 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 the turbines are expected to incorporate education about wind energy into their science curricula, including how turbines work and how to collect, process and understand the data the turbines will provide.