Wind Applications Center at Montana State University Receives Federal Funding

wind turbine in fog photo

photo by Nic McPhee

Expanding the amount of the wind power deployed in the United States via proposals such as The Pickens Plan may face a number of hurdles, but one which is being lowered is educating the future engineers wishing to work in wind. The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has announced the first of six universities to receive funding to develop Wind Applications Centers and Montana State University in Bozeman is it.

New Wind Power Courses Start This Fall
MSU will receive $40,000 annually for the next three years—an amount to be supplements with other grants and industry partnerships—to incorporate more wind-specific topics into its engineering curriculum, to provide support for the Montana wind industry, and for public education efforts for wind power. The new wind-related courses will begin this fall. Robb Larson, who will be teaching the first of the wind courses: "Students are already interested in the environment and how to help what they perceive as the problems they'll face when they join the workforce. So the goal is to get them thinking about wind and alternative energy as a career path."

Larson added, "It seemed like the time was right for MSU, engineering and my department to step up and make a difference in alternative energy, for environmental reason and energy independence reasons. That's where students want to go, and it's the right place to go."

Future states to receive funding for Wind Applications Centers are Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota.

:: Montana State University, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
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