Crawford, Nebraska, Apr 21, 2011 -- Crawford Schools was presented a plaque today from USDA Rural Development Area Director Brenda Darnell and staff in celebration of Earth Day in Crawford, Nebraska. A ribbon was cut for the newly installed wind turbine that will educate students about wind as an alternative energy source.
Crawford Schools received $5,000 through the USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program. The funds assisted in the purchase and installation of the wind turbine. Other partners in this project are: Crawford Schools ($1,500), University of Nebraska (resource), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Wind Powering America Program) (resource), Nebraska Public Power District (resource), Northwest Rural Public Power District (resource), Stolldorf Electric, Inc. (in-kind valued at $1,000) and Chadron Concrete Block, LLC (in-kind valued at $875).
“This is an ideal way for us to showcase the wind turbine we have erected and celebrate Earth Day at the same time. We are very grateful for our partners and the enthusiasm of our students, teachers, Board of Education, and the community,” said Superintendent Dick Lesher, Crawford Schools
“The Skystream and data collected from the turbine will provide hands on learning opportunities in the classroom. Renewable energy education can be integrated in the K-12 career education, math, science and language arts curriculum. The Rural Business Enterprise Grant focus is on rural jobs for the future, and through the learning opportunities, students will gain life skills and explore job opportunities for the future,” said Marla Marx, area specialist, USDA Rural Development.
The Skystream 3.7 (2.4 kilowatt) wind turbine was installed the week of April 6th. The SkyStream is designed for homes and small businesses. The compact turbine will convert wind into clean electricity for the school. The turbine tower is 45 feet tall, the rotor diameter is 12 feet and the swept area is 115.7 feet. The rated speed is 50 – 330 rpm (revolutions per minute).
The Wind Powering America’s Wind for Schools program is all about making rural students competitive while laying the groundwork for future employment and development. The wind industry in Nebraska as a whole is beginning to grow. Providing visible models, such as the Wind for Schools turbine, in small rural communities will help to foster this growth.
Contact Marla Marx (308) 632-2195 ext. 1132. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/ne/.