Wind Energy For Schools
EcoVert wind energy for schools can make your community a leader
More than 100 schools in over 30 states have already installed wind energy systems, and the list of projects on the books keeps growing. These are a huge source of pride for the communities, establishing leadership in our fight for energy independence, saving money on energy costs long term, and are educating our next generation that energy independence will depend on a willingness to lead and take action. Wind power for schools is now a viable option in bring renewable, clean energy into the community.
EcoVert offers the perfect “facility class” wind turbine solution for schools. Key benefits of EcoVert in the school wind project are:
- Ultra-low noise signature to fit easily into your environment
- Turbines individually sized to produce your school’s electrical needs
- Automatic storm mode prevents damage during high winds, including hurricanes
- Easy installation and repair to minimize maintenance costs
- Minimizes your capital investment for quick payback
Learn More about EcoVert Benefits and Features
Read the Bureau Valley School District Case Study
How exactly does installing a wind turbine save money? The key is that it’s a long-term investment. The initial cost of the turbine pays for itself over time in reduced electric bills. Exactly how much can be saved depends on the wind resource at the location and the price of power that will be offset by the turbine’s production.
Will students really learn about renewable energy? When schools install wind turbines, they can include topics from their installation to augment courses such as physics, science, mathematics, and of course political science to discuss the process of succeeding with such a far reaching project. Even turbines at the low end of the power scale, such as our EcoVert 75, offer superb learning potential and actually pay for themselves over time. Teaching how the technology works is the key to getting this generation comfortable with the options for energy. Our young people understand the need and want to know more about the technology so they can get it right for generations after them.
WHY SCHOOLS MAKE GREAT WIND POWER PROJECTS
1. Great rallying points for communities
a. Galluzzo found the same thing to be true in the schools she studied in Iowa. She says, “People become familiar with it and see the benefits.”
b. Every one of the communities where a wind turbine went up ended up being supportive of the project.
c. The people in the communities call them “our turbines”
2. Easier grant money
a. State grants may augment Federal government grants available on a broader scale
b. Because of the education potential, more community leaders donate their time to make the grant happen
c. Over 30 states provide net metering to producers of renewable energy. Iowa law has required this since 1983
d. There is federal production incentive available to schools through the Renewable Energy Production Incentive program, which was reinstated in the Energy Policy Act of 2005
e. DOE invested over $6M in midsize wind turbine technology development, exactly the size needed for most schools
3. Perfect sized energy demands for mid-level solutions (100kW p to 1MW)
a. Costs for these projects are in the range of $500K to $2M which make them fall into the range for affordable grants
b. Power demands are predictable so that quite precise payback calculations can be made
4. Education potential
a. Curriculum guides for grade levels kindergarten through 12 are already developed and in use in hundreds of schools
b. “The curriculum piece that goes with it is just as important as the hardware,” says Tom Potter, the Colorado facilitator for Wind for Schools.
5. Marketing for the utility company
a. Schools make wonderful ad campaigns for utilities to prove their green and energy independence initiatives to a doubtful public
b. Marketing payoff makes it more likely utilities will provide favorable net-metering rates that make the projects financially viable
Key Lessons from the Successful Iowa School Wind Power Program
- The process of installing a wind turbine is not without challenges. It involves learning about technical aspects from wind speed to net metering and state and federal programs and incentives. Because few wind turbines have been installed at the community scale, there are few clear paths that have been paved. In order to install a turbine, people with persistence, perseverance, and passion for making a difference in their community are necessary.
- There can be a substantial monetary benefit from installing a turbine, based on the retail electric rates that the turbine’s production will offset.
- Nearly every person involved in successful project development has noted one key factor in determining if a project is viable i.e. is whether a favorable agreement can be reached with the utility company. Therefore many schools suggested this be one of the very first steps taken when researching a wind project.
- Although few schools have turbines, there are many turbines installed across the nation. Therefore there are experienced engineers, consultants, turbine manufacturers, and maintenance providers. Many schools with turbines recommended employing the service of these professionals to help the project proceed more quickly and the turbines operate more smoothly.
- Many schools began their research by talking to schools with existing turbines. In particular, Iowa schools are well advanced in wind power and can provide information to schools interested in wind power. In addition to schools, there are other wind energy enthusiasts, including individuals and organizations willing to share their hard earned knowledge. In short, much can be learned from those who have completed projects.
- The primary motivation for installing a turbine is similar for many schools: to save money for students. However, many schools have realized benefits other than lasting monetary returns. In every case, the school’s turbine became a source of community pride. Further, they have presented an educational opportunity, provided security for schools threatened with consolidation, helped schools reduce their environmental impact, and allowed schools to be model members of their community.
Ready to Learn More on How You Can Benefit with Wind Power?
Call us at 866-820-0434 or contact us to get your questions answered and to get the full details and benefits of wind power and the EcoVert line of wind turbines.