Windham Initiative for Renewable Energy (WIRE) Breaks Ground for Educational Wind Turbine and Photovoltaic Solar Array

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WIRE will install an educational renewable energy system this spring to inspire Windham High School students to learn about, get involved and be introduced to potential carrer paths in renewable energy fields.

After nearly three years of planning, fund raising, and reviewing quotes from vendors, WIRE (Windham Initiative for Renewable Energy) is proud to announce it will be breaking ground at Windham High School this spring for a wind turbine and photo voltaic solar array.

The fundraising goal was helped by a donor challenge made by an individual who offered to match any donation made to WIRE up to a $20,000 maximum as well as the fundraising efforts of the Windham Endowment for Community Advancement.

The Windham School Board, Board of Selectmen as well as the high school administration have all signed off on plans developed by the approved vendors; Wind Guys USA from Rye Beach, NH and ReVision Energy from Exeter, NH, to install a Skystream 3.7 Wind Turbine and Energy System, and 12 - 240 watt photo voltaic panels on structurally engineered pole mounts.

The 2.4 kW, 12-foot diameter wind turbine will be mounted on a 45-foot tower and will have the ability to be easily tilted down by the faculty and used for study as part of the renewable energy curriculum. "Students will have the opportunity to see working applications of concepts they have learned from class. Utilizing the tilt down feature of the Skystream wind turbine, students will be able to take a closer look at gearing, generator components, and associated electronics. Perhaps most importantly, students will be able to collect long term data from the wind turbine and solar panels for more significant project work and self-directed investigation", noted Patrick Kaplo, WHS Physics Teacher.

Data from the wind turbine, solar array systems, and weather station will be available inside the school and science labs as well as online to Windham residents through the planned for monitoring system. Additionally, data from the system will be studied to determine if WIRE’s Beta project, which is to determine if a renewable energy system on a much larger scale can be installed to truly offset some of the energy costs at the high school, is viable.

“We are very excited to finally get to the part of the project that will begin to impact our kids. The fundraising effort was long and difficult, especially in this economic environment, but our residents, corporate sponsors, The Windham Endowment, and our anonymous matching donor have stepped up and made the difference." said WIRE Chairman, Alan Carpenter.
"I am incredibly grateful to all of the people that have put an enormous amount of time and work into this project. It is great to see all of this technology in renewable energy become readily available to Windham’s students and parents alike." said David Hutchings, a junior at WHS, WIRE committee member and the individual who originally provided the inspiration for the project in 2009.

This system achieves WIRE’s Alpha project goal which was to include a moderate sized wind turbine that can be lowered for study, photovoltaic solar array, weather station and monitoring system to be installed at Windham High School and incorporated into the science and math curricula allowing WHS students hands on experience as well as encourage and give a head start to students that may be interested in pursuing various careers in the burgeoning renewable energy field as they consider higher education choices.

The WIRE committee would like to sincerely thank all those who donated to the project as well as the WHS teachers and administration for their support and excitement for this project.

This project is entirely privately funded and for the benefit our kids. No public funds will be used.

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