Yough School District Gets Wind of New Energy Lesson

Article excerpt

Taking a step into the future of natural energy, the Yough School District now has an alternate energy source that may help to revolutionize the way the district uses electricity.

Atop Cougar Mountain by the Yough High School stadium now sits a Southwest Wind Power Skystream 3.7 Wind Turbine -- one that will function as a potential power source and educational tool for both students and the public.

The project was made possible from a grant awarded to science teacher Jason Kramer.

"I saw that PEDA (Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority) had grants available for small-wind sites," Kramer said. "And I thought that this would be a great opportunity for the public to see wind power on display."

Kramer received word in December 2007 that he had been awarded the grant, enabling the $27,000 project to be brought to the district for free.

The 84-foot tower houses a 12-foot rotor and has a power-grid interconnect system.

The estimated energy production is 400 Kwh per month in 12-mph wind.

In the case of wind exceeding 40 mph, a strong storm or a power outage, the windmill automatically shuts down.

The wind turbine has a built-in DC-to-AC inverter that will produce "green" energy for the school's consumption or that can be sent back to the power grid for residential usage.

The focus of the project is to introduce students and the community on the potential of harnessing small-scale wind power for electric generation.

"We want to see if this is feasible or not," Kramer said. "The idea is to see if this could be a cost-effective means of energy. People can come and see if this works before they make a big investment."

Although the energy produced by the wind turbine won't be enough to power the high school, it could offset the total energy cost paid by taxpayers as the net metering will give the district credit from the electricity provider for any electricity fed back into the site- power grid. …