While we tend to think of states like Texas, Kansas and South Dakota when discussing US wind power potential, it turns out that Iowa leads the pack when it comes to developing wind installations at public schools. A new report from the Iowa Policy Project, Wind Power and Iowa Schools (in PDF), takes a close look at each of the state's ten schools that have installed wind turbines. The study looks at each school in detail, and takes note of the initial motivation for the switch to wind power, the savings that result, and the educational opportunities created for students. The report's introduction notes that while each school made the move to wind power for different reasons, they all shared one desire: savings on energy costs. From the report's Introduction:
America’s schools face a perennial struggle with tight budgets. Their financial difficulties are worsened by rising prices for fossil fuels. A small but growing number of schools have made this connection and have begun to produce their own electricity with wind turbines, helping them reduce costs while promoting energy independence and environmentalOf course, not every renewable technology fits every situation, and the report also takes note of five state schools that looked at wind power, but decided not to pursue it. The lessons learned by all of these schools can provide valuable insights into the benefits and challenges of adapting renewable energy in K-12 educational settings, and, hopefully, encourage school boards around the country to consider renewables as a solution to higher energy costs that also creates valuable (and marketable) educational opportunities. :: The Iowa Policy Project via The New Rules Project
responsibility and providing their students with the opportunity to understand this burgeoning technology.