Wind energy is revolutionizing science education. In Indiana, NativeEnergy is helping schools build wind turbines that provide hands-on learning opportunities.
Facing budget cuts, Indiana schools needed a new approach.
The answer was an everyday resource: the wind.
Harold Seamon, assistant superintendent, Northwestern schools in Kokomo: “We looked at the possibility of building a wind turbine for several years. After doing a number of projects—we purchased equipment to improve our energy efficiency and the environment in our buildings—we finally said, ‘It would really be neat if we could generate some of our own power.’”
But they couldn’t do it alone. They turned to Performance Services to help assess the wind energy potential. Performance Services is a design-build engineering and construction firm with experience in developing community scale wind projects in Indiana.
Together, they discovered more than enough wind and expected major energy savings. But the project was still too costly to be built.
Carbon financing from NativeEnergy sealed the deal.
Jeff Bernicke, president, NativeEnergy: “When NativeEnergy heard this project needed additional funding, we were excited to help. It has so many benefits for the students, the school, and the community. Not only does it provide a stable source of locally produced energy, but it’s also a real life, full-scale renewable energy learning lab for the students and faculty.
“Our customers are buying the carbon reductions that will happen over the life of the project. These are known as carbon offsets. When our clients such as AVEDA, Clif Bar, Ben & Jerry’s, REVERB, and Touring Green make this offset purchase, they are playing a critical role in making this project happen.”
Harold Seamon: “The combination of utility savings on the one hand and carbon offsets on the other made the project viable for Northwestern schools.”
Finally, the turbines were built, and the excitement was contagious. Students are now learning about renewable energy, and some are even earning college credit.
We celebrated the project on October 19 at Northwestern High School.
Principal Al Remaly rode with NativeEnergy and Performance Services to the school. Then, a school-wide event taught students about their turbine. The companies also shared career advice with students. People even had the opportunity to climb the turbine.
Today, the three turbines are generating power throughout Indiana. They will cut 4,800 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year.
NativeEnergy is an expert provider of carbon offsets, renewable energy credits, and carbon accounting software. With NativeEnergy’s Help Build™ offsets, businesses and individuals can help finance the construction of wind, biogas, solar, and other carbon reduction projects with strong social and environmental benefits. Since 2000, NativeEnergy’s customers have helped build over 50 projects, reducing more than 2.5 million tons of greenhouse gases, and the company has over 4 million tons under contract. All NativeEnergy carbon offsets undergo third-party validation and verification. Learn more at www.nativeenergy.com.