Grant boosts wind energy project receives grant
The Park Rapids Wind Energy Project has been awarded a $5,000 grant to connect the wind turbine at Century School to classrooms and the community.
Thursday Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) announced technical assistance funding for 32 community clean energy projects throughout Greater Minnesota.
Four of these projects are in Central Minnesota projects, including one for data collection of wind energy in the Park Rapids School District.
Specifically, the plan is to share the energy data the turbine produces, using an existing Web-based monitoring service (FatSpaniel.com) to calculate and display energy production data in a detailed and user-friendly format.
"The real-time data will be available to anyone, anywhere with Internet access," said Shawn Anderson, wind energy project chairman.
The next step will be to integrate the data into the school's curriculum.
In addition to the $5,000 CERTs grant, the committee received a $2,000 grant from Itasca-Mantrap Electric Co-op to purchase the monitoring and transmitting equipment for this phase of the project.
The 20-kilowatt wind turbine was erected near the Century School Nov. 15. Among the project goals are to provide data for use in math and science classes and give community members of all ages an opportunity to easily access and monitor the turbine's data.
The grant will cover the cost of providing data for the next 10 years.
For more information about the Park Rapids Wind Energy Committee, go to www.prwind.org.
Other area grants
The other $5,000 Central Minnesota grant recipients are: solar air heat crop drying at the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) in Pine River, a new and improved Web site for RREAL and solar panel installations at the White Earth Land Recovery Project.
The Central CERT Steering Committee recommended this slate of project awards to the regional team and is excited about the renewable energy efforts this funding will seed. "We are delighted to be able to include both solar and wind projects as our region's grant recipients," said Dr. Rin Porter, Browerville, Central CERT steering committee member.
Funding for these projects is provided through the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Blandin Foundation.
The Clean Energy Resource Teams are a joint program of the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, the Southwest Regional Development Commission, the Minnesota Project, Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Green Institute.
The CERTs program brings together team members from diverse backgrounds including farmers, utility representatives, state and federal government staff, educators and academics, small business owners, members of non-profit and environmental groups as well as individuals interested in energy issues.
Together they work to identify and implement community-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the state.
For more information, visit www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org.