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ACEP to lead Alaska Wind for Schools program

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: 907-474-7902

01/25/10

The Alaska Center for Energy and Power will lead a new Wind for Schools program in Alaska under a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Alaska is one of five new Wind for Schools states, bringing the total number of participating states to 11. The national program offers hands-on science education to children and college students. ACEP, part of the Institute of Northern Engineering at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will work with program partners Renewable Energy Alaska Project and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

"This is a phenomenal opportunity to get Alaska's kids involved with community issues around the state and challenge them to be excited about science and energy," said Katherine Keith, ACEP's wind coordinator. "The K-12 program leads directly into the community college and university components of the program, where students can participate in cutting-edge research projects while learning about applied energy in the state of Alaska."

The university will offer a college-level wind energy curriculum and provide job placement opportunities for students. These students will then help deliver the K-12 curriculum and help communities install wind turbines at their schools.

In November, Alaska installed its first school turbine at Sherrod Elementary in Palmer. The turbine is being used to teach students about science and energy. In addition, several utility-scale wind systems are now operating throughout the state, along with numerous residential wind systems and businesses that cater to wind power generation.

The Wind for Schools program will also address the wind industry's need for a skilled workforce to support the expanded development and application of wind technologies. ACEP and its partners are planning to expand the program to 10 Alaska schools over the next year and are also seeking funding through the state's Renewable Energy Fund and other sources.

CONTACT: Kat Keith, Wind for Schools coordinator, 907-590-0751 or kmkeith@alaska.edu. Julie Estey at 907-590-0879 or julie.estey@alaska.edu. Hannah Gustafson, assistant director of REAP, at 907-929-7770 or hannah@realaska.org">.

ON THE WEB: www.uaf.edu/acep/alaska-wind-diesel-applic/wind-for-schools/