Wind power education is on the curriculum of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, better known as NYSERDA. Part of the popular School Power…Naturally? program, adults and students can investigate what the potential energy production would be generated if wind turbines were built throughout the state of New York. By using the New York State Virtual Wind Farm Tool, interested students and adults can learn about wind energy in a realistic, exciting way.
The New York State Virtual Wind Farm Tool allows students to understand the elements involved in designing wind farms. This on-line tool is a graphical, computer application that gives students a chance to get a first-hand, hands-on experience understanding the wind resources that exist in New york state, and to actually (virtually) design their own wind farm. The concepts students will encounter and have to deal with are:
• What are the factors that will affect the location of a wind farm, and what geographic features of a site make it a good or bad choice as a location for a wind farm.
• Where in New York would the most productive wind farms be located?
• How modifying the wind tower and/or turbine affects the energy output of the tower and its particular cost effectiveness.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, otherwise known at the NYSERDA, offers several programs designed to encourage, support and motivate various sectors in the public arena to utilize solar electric power in their daily lives. One such program is the School Power…Naturally? Program. Funded with a substantial 2.1 million dollars, the School Power…Naturally? Program functions as part of the NYSERDA’s New York Energy $mart? Schools Program.
School Power… Naturally? is available to all schools in New York State with the goal of educating New Yorkers about energy in general and more specifically about the benefits of solar electric power and wind power and the role these alternative forms of energy can play in people’s lives at home, at school and at work, too.
New York Energy $mart? Schools Program selected 50 schools back in 2003 to receive a solar energy and date collection system. This system is worth $24,000 and was given in return to a contribution from each school of only $1,500. The emphasis of the program is on education, emphasizing the benefits solar and wind power can have on the day to day lives of New Yorkers.
As Ethanol Production continues to increase around the nation, New York is surprisingly one of fastest growing producers of the bio energy. Western New York Energy opened a plant outside Medina in 2007 and is producing 57 million gallons of ethanol in it annually.
Ethanol plants produce other byproducts that are worthwhile to keep besides ethanol. The Western New York Energy plant generates about 160,000 tons of a low-fat distillers grain each year. The grain is marketed to dairy farms. Another byproduct of Ethanol production is 1.5 million gallons of crude corn oil that is processed into biodiesel. This, as well as 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide used by food companies for beverage carbonation reveal Ethanol production’s multi-dimensional uses.
Smallish fans have begun to pop up on many New York City buildings. Although their appearance is closer to a personal fan, these fans produce electricity just like the more noted tall white turbines. With energy prices getting higher, many residents see these fans as a great solution to keep their electricity costs lower, especially since they often bypass the electrical companies.
With demand growing the Blue Sea Development Company is in the process of building a five-story brick apartment building in the Melrose section of South Bronx that will be powered in part by 10 1-kilowatt turbines.
A strong bill advocating solar power in New York is finding its way up the state capitol in Albany. The bill is set to give New York State what it needs to be a leader in solar energy. The New York Solar Jobs Act of 2010 would establish achievable and yet still very aggressive targets for utility companies in New York to bring solar capacity continually on-line each year — scaling up to 2.5% of the state’s total energy mix by 2025. That percentage is equal to approximately five gigawatts of solar. In other words…a lot of solar energy.
The bill would give New York the potential to generate enough clean electricity to power close to a million homes. More than this it is the legislation’s ability to generate economic opportunity that’s getting many in the New York state legislature excited.