The Wind for Schools program is aimed in part at helping to create a skilled workforce for the wind industry, one of the needs identified in the Department of Energy’s 2008 20% Wind report.
Wind for Schools Program Adds Funding in Five States
Universities in Alaska, Arizona, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia to lead projects
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and DOE’s Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program announced the selection of five additional states to each receive approximately $60,000 in funding per year for three years for activities supporting Wind Powering America’s Wind for Schools project.
These awards will provide universities, state institutions, and non-governmental organizations funding and technical support that will be used to develop educational programs to improve understanding of wind technology and its implementation using the successful Wind for Schools model.
The university leads on the selected projects are Appalachian State University (North Carolina), James Madison University (Virginia), Northern Arizona University, Pennsylvania State University, and University of Alaska.
The Wind for Schools project, part of DOE’s Wind Powering America outreach and education initiative, supports wind energy education programs at universities as well as primary and secondary schools. By targeting students, the activities selected to be funded address a major challenges for the wind energy industry as identified in DOE’s 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report: the need for a skilled workforce to support the expanded development and application of wind technologies.
Launched in 2005, DOE’s Wind for Schools project previously supported activities across six states; today’s award announcement brings that total to 11 states.
“These awards showcase NREL and DOE’s expanding efforts to create an enhanced public awareness and understanding of wind energy.” NREL’s Ian Baring-Gould said. “These education programs eventually can lead to a skilled, knowledgeable workforce that will be ready to help us solve our energy challenges in the future.”
NREL, with direct funding from DOE, received 25 qualified applications from the request for proposals to expand Wind for Schools activities issued on October 23, 2009. Proposals were evaluated first on qualitative merit, including criteria such as strength of the activity’s description, programmatic priorities, and whether the applicant has arranged for sharing of the activity’s costs. Projects are expected to begin in Fiscal Year 2010 and last for approximately three years.
NREL is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.