Alternative Energy Institution helping to expand wind energy - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Alternative Energy Institute helping to expand wind energy

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Canyon, TX - Wind energy is rapidly developing in our area.

The past, present, and future of WT's Alternative Energy Institute is bringing wind farm developers to our region. Their research not only helps shape this technology but will be beneficial for all of us.

Alternative energy has become an important topic in the U.S. Both presidential candidates have a stance on it. Everyone is looking for a more efficient option and WT's Alternative Energy Institute is helping.

"That's the reason we're still here. There's still a problem. There's still a reason to look for new sources of energy. And we keep trying to improve on that, make things more efficient along those lines," David Carr, AEI Assistance Director says.

The Alternative Energy Institution has been conducting research for 35 years. They've gone from just crunching numbers to helping locate the windiest areas for developers.

"We've also seen the systems getting bigger. The biggest system we ever had in 1982 at the very first conference we had in Amarillo had a blade that was almost 15 foot long. And, there are blades going through Amarillo today on truckers that are 160 foot long. Ten times bigger. That's the kind of scale of growth we've seen in the last 35 years," Ken Starcher, AEI Associate Director of Training, Education and Outreach says.

AEI says it is able to locate the best places and heights for wind. And they add that their help for developers ultimately helps you and me. The more efficiently they obtain energy, the less we are paying for it.

"We have seen a reduction in total cost per kilowatt per hour units by a factor of at least five. That is what used to costs 25 cents a kilowatt hour now is down to about five cents per kilowatt hour. So that's a big savings based on improved performance," Starcher says.

AEI will be working more closely with turbine manufactures and wind farmers to keep enhancing this alternative.

WT's Alternative Energy Institute is celebrating 35 years of research this evening.