Archive for Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Federal grant funds Kansas renewable energy program

August 17, 2010


— The Department of Energy has awarded Riley County, Kansas State University and a Lenexa architectural firm a three-year, $3 million grant to construct what amounts to a renewable energy test program at the county shops site.

Of the $3 million, $1.3 million will be used to build renewable energy features, and the rest will go toward implementing the “Resourceful Kansas” program. Manhattan was one of 35 communities in the U.S. to receive the grant out of about 200 applicants.

Federal stimulus money will fund the grant.

The new renewable energy features will include: four wind turbines, a thin-film photo-voltaic solar system, a solar hot water under-floor heating system, four photo-voltaic solar powered street lights and a waste-oil heater.

The energy produced by these new features will create enough energy to power the public works facilities. Rod Meredith, the Riley County assistant director of public works, said the new features could save the facilities $80,000 a year in electricity costs.

Meredith said the county shop site would enjoy the benefits of the renewable energy for up to 20 years. He said the public works facility has been looking for this kind of program. “It’s been a vision since we started the facility,” he said.

The Resourceful Kansas program engages communities in sustainability and efficiency of energy. The program will feature one-day seminars offered to other cities, counties, state agencies, and businesses across Kansas. The program will offer eight seminars during the grant’s three-year period.

“We’re bringing people in for seminars every three months and showing them what’s possible,” said Meredith.

As part of Resourceful Kansas, Kansas State’s Wind Applications Center will evaluate the energy produced at the facility, and GBA Architects & Engineers of Lenexa will provide energy audits and cost/benefit reviews for communities or organizations participating in the seminars.

Commission Chairman Mike Kearns said the evaluations and audits would be extremely valuable for communities participating in the seminars.

“Now, instead of guessing whether or not this alternative energy will work for them, businesses, ranchers and manufacturing companies can look at our data,” said Kearns.


devobrun 7 years, 7 months ago

So, 3 mill to put up some toys and market them to the populace. I want my money back.

parrothead8 7 years, 7 months ago

Yeah..."electricity." What a stupid idea.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

I didn't see any mention of toys. Can you be more specific?

itwasthedukes 7 years, 7 months ago

30 plus years of subsidies and no one will put up a windmill without a handout from the gov. Things that work in a market would be flying on their own by now. Yet it is capitalism that is failing us? Open your eyes. Profit is the only thing that creates a private sector job, we must have the freedom to pursue and retain a profit to fix this economy. But profit is bad and taxes on corps are not high enough, yet people just slap a 501(c)(3) title on their business and abuse the tax code while they scream to tax corps that provide legitimate products that no one is forced to buy. We are upside down.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 7 months ago

And when was the last nuke built? And how much federal subsidies and loan guarantees are part of the Holcomb coal fired plant expansion project? And how much pork is being slopped out for the carbon sequestration projects that the coal scammers are dangling as a "solution" to the problem of CO2 emissions from coal fired plants?

When it comes to energy production, you're right: we are upside down. The subsidies should be taken away from all those big boys and then see what flies. I think if that were to happen, you'd see a whole lot more windmills than nukes or coal fired plants. And of course, energy efficiency, dollar for dollar, is so much more cost effective of an investment than any new energy, renewable, conventional, nuclear included.

Ken Lassman 7 years, 7 months ago

I dunno: $80,000 savings in annual electrical bills is more than feeling good. They expect the savings to continue over 20 years, and that means 1.6 million dollars in today's dollars. Not bad for a 1.3 million dollar investment--in my book, well worth the money.

Furthermore, it'll act as a demonstration project, so others will learn from this and do their own.

Janet Lowther 7 years, 7 months ago

The other day I was talking to a guy with an extensive photovoltaic installation. He said his payback was about thirty years at present rates. . .

Commenting has been disabled for this item.