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.
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.
The Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) has received a grant award of $497,350 from the State Energy Conservation Office for the installation of two renewable energy systems that will help reduce energy consumption at the University.
Funding for the grant is provided through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through a statewide program designed to increase the amount of installed renewable energy at public facilities in the state of Texas and help reduce utility costs and save tax dollars. The grant will help fund a $622,000 solar and wind electricity project to install a 48 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaics (PV) system at the University’s Palo Duro Research Facility and a 50 kW wind system for the feed mill at WTAMU’s Nance Ranch.
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:
- Photovoltaics (PV), 48 kW for the Palo Duro Research Center.
- 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.