Stockton College and the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) are working together to help municipalities, schools and other public entities gather data to determine the suitability of sites for wind power. Wind, solar and other forms of renewable energy continue to gain acceptance as viable and affordable options for distributed power generation, and many public entities are looking to wind turbines as potential power sources.
The efficacy of wind power for electric generation has been demonstrated at the ACUA’s wastewater treatment plant in Atlantic City, the home of the Jersey Atlantic Wind Farms’ five 1.5 megawatt wind turbines. This initiative saves the ACUA over $500,000 annually on electricity. New Jersey has set aggressive goals for using renewable energy in the state’s Energy Master Plan, and wind power holds much promise as a source of green energy. Unfortunately, wind power is not suitable for all locations and careful siting is essential for the success of a wind turbine.
Stockton received funding assistance through the New Jersey Department of Clean Energy Regional Anemometer Program to purchase several anemometers and ancillary equipment which will be used to gather data on wind conditions. Public entities selected to participate will benefit by gaining essential data that will determine how well suited their specific site would be. Wind resource maps are available online (http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/), but these maps only provide a general idea of conditions and wind speeds. The anemometer data on wind speed, velocity and pressure is essential in determining the site specific wind conditions which can make or break the economic viability of a project. One anemometer will be mounted on a 50 meter tower, and a second will be mounted on an existing 30 meter tower These devices will be installed at different locations where the anemometers will gather data for a full year. After this time, towers and anemometers will be relocated and data will be collected for new sites.
Stockton students will have the benefit of hands on experience collecting and analyzing real data, and reporting on their findings. Stockton professors Lyn Stiles, Tait Chirenje, and Patrick Hossay were instrumental in advancing this project and have extensive experience working collaboratively on sustainability and energy initiatives at Stockton and in other local communities. Environmental Sciences Dean, Dennis Weiss, cites an extensive history of recent and ongoing energy-related projects that Stockton has implemented and successfully incorporated as teaching tools. “Stockton is primed to participate,” Weiss noted in the proposal. ACUA President Rick Dovey comments, “We are really pleased to join Stockton on this project. It’s a great way to provide important data to towns and schools who are seriously considering wind projects, and a great opportunity for students as well.”
Interested parties from coastal New Jersey regions can apply. Many responses are anticipated, and priority will be given to public entities with potential access to good wind resources and to the electricity grid that can show they would be able to obtain approvals and authorizations to install a wind turbine. For more information contact Patrick Hossay at Stockton College (609-652-4303) or Rick Dovey at the ACUA (609-272-6950).