August 3, 2011
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.
July 25, 2011
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 18, 2011
More local news via the Amarillo Globe-News! This article is by Kevin Welch.
Xcel Energy plans on moving an idle turbine from near Borger to Tucumcari, N.M., to provide backup power there. The unit has provided additional power during peak demand using natural gas, said Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves, but the company will convert it to run on diesel fuel.
For more, click here to read the full article.
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.
June 9, 2010
Registration is now open for West Texas A&M University’s Fall 2010 Alternative Energy Courses!
Both courses will be offered online through WTAMU’s Continuing Education department. You must register with West Texas A&M University to sign up for these classes.
Classes begin AUGUST 30TH, 2010.
- College Credit Cost – Varies, depending on whether you are pay in-state or out-of-state tuition.
- CEU & Certificate Cost – $720
What Can You Get From the Course?
If you would be interested in taking these courses, please look at the following course summaries:
How to Register
Prospective students must register through WTAMU Continuing Education.
STEP ONE: Click the “Register and Pay” link on the Continuing Education web site.
STEP TWO: Select the “ENERGY” topic code and hit Submit (not the WIND code).
STEP THREE: Register for the course of your choice!
June 1, 2010
From The Amarillo Globe-News:
West Texas A&M University became part of a push Monday to raise expectations for a Spanish company’s wind turbines – machines that could double the power production of today’s standard turbines.
“It will be fundamental research like how to make a better blade with light, robust material, testing aerodynamics, the integrity of blades,” said Theresa Maldonado, associate vice chancellor for research of the Texas A&M University System and director of the Energy Engineering Institute, which will participate.
Gamesa Technology, based in Spain, signed contracts Monday with A&M and several affiliated entities calling for research on energy projects, including a turbine rated at a production capacity of 4.5 megawatts to be installed at WT’s Nance Ranch. The company itself only makes a 2-megawatt turbine now and most land-based turbines don’t exceed that.
Click here to read more.
May 24, 2010
From Alt Energy Mag, concerning WTAMU’s own Regional Wind Test Center:
The Texas A&M University System and Gamesa Technology Corp. (Gamesa) announced an agreement today with the intention to install a new generation of wind turbine at West Texas A&M University, coordinated jointly by the Energy Engineering Institute and the Alternative Energy Institute of the A&M System. The Gamesa G10X (also known as the G128) would be the largest of its kind in the country, while providing substantial advances in production output, energy efficiency and noise reduction.
With today’s signing ceremony at the 2010 American Wind Energy Association WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition, A&M System and Gamesa officials have initiated a long-term agreement in which the system, through its multiple members, will conduct ongoing research and testing for Gamesa’s energy-related projects. System members include the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (Energy Engineering Institute), Texas A&M University, West Texas A&M (Alternative Energy Institute) and the Texas Transportation Institute. The initial collaboration will involve installation of the Gamesa G10X, a 4.5-megawatt turbine that has a higher tower height and a larger rotor diameter (420 feet/128 meters) than existing land based turbines, which allows it to access better wind resources that further increase its production capability.
Click here or visit Gamesa’s official web site to read more.
May 5, 2010
From the Amarillo Globe-News:
Cross Texas Transmission says the statistics are convincing and is asking the state Public Utility Commission what it thinks about the company’s preferred route for the first transmission line in the Panhandle solely devoted to moving wind energy.
Cross Texas applied Monday for permission to build the segment from a substation southeast of Childress to one southwest of Lefors. The PUC will include its choice for the route when it rules on the application. That choice does not have to be Cross Texas’ preferred route.
The distance between the points wind farms will plug into the system is 82.2 miles along a straight line, but avoiding obstacles and following existing rights of way stretched the preferred route to 94.9 miles. Some of the alternatives Cross Texas discarded were as long as 110 miles.
Click here for more information (and to see the map).
October 9, 2009
Here is a clip from The Daily Show, interviewing William Kamkwamba (now 22) an who built a wind turbine out scraps in Africa.
You can find out more about Kamkwamba and his book here.