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August 3, 2011

Winds changing for Bushland energy research laboratory

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News,Texas News,Wind Energy — Tags: , , , , , — Georgia Romig @ 8:55 am

Here’s some more news on the end of the research lab at Bushland, by Kevin Welch at the Amarillo Globe-News.

Some types of energy projects have been spinning at Bushland’s Conservation and Production Laboratory for more than three decades, but they’ll start slowing to a stop in two years.

“Our national research program office said it wanted a stronger emphasis on biofuels, and we are the only solar/wind program so we kind of stuck out,” acting lab director Terry Howell said. “But there will be no impact on federal funding or personnel. The only people who will be affected by the transition work for West Texas A&M.”

All the soil and water conservation, feedlot, crop management and plant variety improvement work at the lab will continue.
It’s part of a change of concept and philosophy by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. On Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced four more biomass projects in several states, but not Texas, to use non-food crops such as wood, oil seed or switchgrass to create fuel.


Click here
to read the full article on the Globe-News web site.

For more on Bushland, check out this NewsChannel10 Amarillo interview.

USDA ending wind program in Bushland

NewsChannel 10 Amarillo posted a video this weekend about the end of the USDA wind research program in Bushland. AEI’s Ken Starcher was interviewed for this story.

Click here to view the video on the NewsChannel 10 web site.

For more on Bushland, check out this Amarillo Globe-News article.

July 25, 2011

AEI’s Former Director in Texas Monthly

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News,Texas News — Tags: , , , , — Georgia Romig @ 12:11 pm

Texas Monthly will be publishing an article featuring the Alternative Energy Institute‘s former director, Dr. Vaughn Nelson. Nelson was also a professor at West Texas A&M University and recently authored the book Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment.

Here is a brief preview of the article A Mighty Wind (by Kate Galbraith and Asher Price).

One cool Lubbock afternoon in 1979, Father Joe James made a kite. He nailed together a small wooden cross, glued paper across it, and on the long tail of twine tied streamers every five feet. Then he walked out of St. John Neumann Catholic Church, the energy-saving, below-ground house of worship he had designed, climbed up a modest slope, and launched the contraption above the church’s school and football field. Staring up at the fluttering streamers, he could gauge which way the wind was blowing and where it blew hardest.

To read more, click here. Texas Monthly requires you to subscribe in order to read it’s full articles.

Thank you Class 4 Winds for giving us a heads up on this!

July 19, 2011

New AEI Staff: Cesar Ramos!

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News — Tags: , , — Georgia Romig @ 1:49 pm

Congratulations to Cesar Ramos, our new Research Technician! He will be joining the AEI Staff on August 1st, 2011.

And to our former Field Assistant, Jeff Ludlum, thanks for all you’ve done for AEI!

July 18, 2011

Local News: Ex-WT prof writes energy textbook

Local News by Yann Ranaivo from the Amarillo-Globe News:

Some time in the future, Earth will run out of the fossil fuels available for producing energy.

Vaughn Nelson, a retired West Texas A&M University physics professor, stresses that point in “Introduction to Renewable Energy,” a textbook released this year that discusses how renewable sources can be used to help the world rely less on coal, natural gas and oil in the future.

The work in the textbook stems from lessons Nelson taught during a WT course on renewable energy last year, he said.

“As I told my students all along, the first thing is conservation and energy efficiency and the second priority is renewable energy,” he said. “We’re going to have to shift that way, especially given all the money we send overseas for imported oil.”

Nelson’s book is part of a much greater push to increase the use of energy from wind, the sun, water and biomass.

To read the rest of the story, click here! To find out more about Nelson’s book, Wind Energy: Renewable Energy and the Environment, check it out on Amazon.

May 18, 2011

Welcome, New AEI Staff!

AEI welcomes its new staff members:

  • Secretary – Katie Perkins
  • Data Assistant – Miguel Grijalva
  • Field Assistant – Taehee Jung
  • Field Assitant – Jeff Ludlum

We also say goodbye to the following people:

  • Jennifer – Previous Secretary
  • Abhijit – Previous Field Assistant

All of the new staff members are student workers. You can find out more about them on our staff page, and be sure to check out the new staff photos on Facebook!

March 2, 2011

Local News: College receives $800K for solar energy program

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News,Solar Energy — Tags: , , , , — Georgia Romig @ 12:22 pm

Local News by Brandon Carpenter from The Ranger (Amarillo College’s student newspaper):

The renewable energy department has recieved a three-year grant of more than $800,00 from the National Science Foundation to develop a solar energy program.

Part of the money from the grant has been used to hire Arthur Schneider as a director of renewable energy technology and instrumentation technology.

“We are going into some unknowns, and we want to see what other programs are doing,” said Jack Stanley, chairman of the Sciences and Engineering Division.

“The grant will allow us to travel to Austin, Houston, places in New Mexico and Colorado to see the many different programs out there.”

To read the rest of the story, check out the print edition of this week’s AC Ranger! Visit The Ranger’s web site for info on how to subscribe.

February 21, 2011

Staff Page Updated! (And New Staff!)

Filed under: Local News,Local People,News — Tags: , , , , , — Georgia Romig @ 1:49 pm

Our Staff Page has been updated to better clarify Student Worker and Graduate Research Assistant positions, as well as to announce the newest member of our staff, Jordan Eason!

Click here to visit.

November 3, 2010

New Staff!

Filed under: Local People,News — Tags: — admin @ 10:02 am

We’ve made some changes to our staff! Check out our Staff Page for more info.

June 24, 2010

AEI Wins SECO Award for Research Facility

The Alternative Energy Institute has received an award of $497,350 from the State Energy Conservation Office for the installation of renewable energy systems at the Palo Duro Research Facility and at the feed mill at the WTAMU Nance Ranch (Regional Wind Test Center).

The total project cost is around $622,000. The state provided money for renewable energy projects with funding provided through federal ARRA funds. For more information, click here.

Staff Working on the Project:

  • Project Director, Dr. Byungik Chang, Director AEI
  • Principal Investigator, Ken Starcher, Assistant Director AEI

The project, involving solar and wind electricity, will consist of two components:

  1. Photovoltaics (PV), 48 kW for the Palo Duro Research Center.
  2. Wind, 50 kW for the feed mill at the WTAMU, Nance Ranch.

The objectives is to reduce electric consumption at WTAMU through use of renewable energy, as well as providing information on performance and economics of the systems. Information on both systems will be disseminated to the public and business entities through seminars and display areas.

Systems will provide electricity for use on-site and systems also displace the production of carbon dioxide from the conventional power plants.

One proposed system will have two 4 kW tracker units, and 40 kW of fixed tilt, flat plate PV. The PV system will generate an estimated 80,000 kWh/yr.

AEI will also install a 50 kW, 49 ft diameter wind turbine, on a 120 ft tower. The system will generate an estimated 175,000 kWh/yr.

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