Roles and Responsibilities for Wind for Schools Participants
- School and Community
- Wind Application Center
- State Facilitator
- Wind Powering America
- Local Utility or Electric Cooperative
- State Energy Office
School and Community
In order for a Wind for Schools project to succeed, people in the school community must support the concept, including the science teacher, the school principal and administration, the district superintendent and administration, and the school board. The school provides land for the project, support for the wind turbine interconnection to the school electrical system, facilities support, financial support, and support for the project in community meetings, site permitting, and other organizational events. After the installation, the science teacher uses the wind turbine as a teaching aid in energy-related curricula and possibly as a source for science fair concepts. The program supplies curricula, educational kits, and training to teachers to support wind curricula implementation in the classroom. Although project financial structures will vary from state to state, the schools own and are responsible for the wind turbine systems. The schools save a minimal amount of money by offsetting power generation and agree to make the turbine data public.
Wind Application Center
Wind Application Center Contacts
The Wind Application Center is implemented at a state university or college under the leadership of an interested university professor. The Wind Application Centers provide technical assistance to rural schools (wind resource and energy usage analysis, siting, permitting, land use, financials, overseeing the installation of the power and the data acquisition system, and performance data analysis). Typically new candidate schools will be identified in the early fall with students from the Wind Application Center conducting analysis and system permitting during the fall academic semester. The turbines will be installed in the spring, possibly as a junior or senior academic project. This project implementation experience, combined with wind curricula offered through the Wind Application Center, will help to produce graduate engineers and systems analysts knowledgeable in the wind application process and hopefully interested in pursuing wind energy as a career.
After the 3-year implementation period, the Wind Application Center will assume the responsibilities of the state facilitator (described below) and will become the primary repository of wind energy applications knowledge and expertise. Schools, small business owners, residential users, state policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders can use the Wind Application Center as a source of information regarding wind energy applications. Although Wind Powering America and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory will provide technical and financial support to develop the Wind Application Center, after the implementation period the Wind Application Center will identify independent funding sources.
This individual or organization assists Wind Powering America staff in developing the Wind for Schools project in each state. The facilitator's primary responsibility is to identify candidate K-12 host schools and support the project's development by working with the local communities and school administrators. The state facilitator is also responsible for working with Wind Powering America and the Wind Application Center to line up funding and implement each project. The facilitator's role is designed to last about 3 years, at which point the Wind Application Center assumes the facilitator responsibilities. Wind Powering America provides initial funding for the state facilitators.
Wind Powering America
In each state, Wind Powering America will provide technical and financial assistance to the Wind Application Center and state facilitator over the first few years of the project, including:
- Conducting the annual Wind Energy Applications Training Symposium
- Assisting in the analysis of Wind for School projects
- Providing analysis models and other tools to support project development
- Providing turbine installation and commissioning procedures training
- Providing wind resource assessment equipment
- Assisting in curricula development for the K-12 schools and the Wind Application Center
- Hosting students, professors, and teachers with summer projects at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Local Utility or Electric Cooperative
To ensure the success of a Wind for Schools project, the local electricity provider should be involved. The utility or cooperative should provide technical expertise (both in terms of installation and education) and assist in the installation of the wind turbine and associated hardware. The school and state facilitator (or the Wind Application Center after the initial years) will be expected to secure the support and assistance from the local provider. Community education is one of the goals of the Wind for Schools project, and the local electricity provider is a critical project partner.
State Energy Office
The state energy or development office provides technical, financial, and managerial support for the project as appropriate, generally through the Wind Application Center and state facilitator. The state energy office will also help to identify grants and other funding opportunities for Wind for Schools projects.