Arkansas Energy Office, John Brown University develop anemometer loan program

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Arkansas Economic Development Commission’s Energy Office and the Renewable Energy Department at John Brown University have partnered to develop an anemometer loan program designed to allow land owners in Arkansas to measure wind energy potential.  

Through the program, selected participants will borrow wind measurement instrumentation to conduct a one-year measurement study on their site. Initially, the program will supply four 34-meter meteorological stations with the equipment necessary to measure and record wind speed and direction. Faculty and students from the Renewable Energy Program at John Brown University will install the equipment and monitor the data from their campus in Siloam Springs. They will also develop a wind resource analysis for each participant at the end of the measurement period. 

“We are very excited about our renewable energy program here at John Brown University,” said Fernando Vega, director of the university’s Renewable Energy Program. “Wind energy represents a big component of the program, and having an anemometer loan program to run will greatly enhance it. We would be creating a valuable workforce with good field experience by having our students become actively involved in all aspects of these wind instruments. The ALP will be very beneficial for the Arkansas residents participating in it. Such onsite meteorological data allows for more precise feasibility studies and is often required by potential funding sources.” 

Once the one-year measurement period is completed and the data is collected, the equipment will then be relocated to other selected participants. 

The purpose of the program is to promote wind energy throughout the state. More details about the selection criteria and participant obligations – as well as downloadable application forms – will be available from JBU’s Renewable Energy Program website at www.jbu.edu/academics/science/renewable_energy/alp and the Arkansas Energy Office’s website at http://www.arkansasenergy.org/solar-wind-bioenergy/wind/incentives-and-programs/anemometer-loan-program.aspx. 

“This is an amazing program to promote wind energy throughout Arkansas,” said Chris Benson, director of the Arkansas Energy Office. “This partnership will allow Arkansas residents to discover the benefits of renewable energy, provide students with invaluable experience in this emerging field, and enable the Arkansas Energy Office to promote energy education and sustainability throughout the state.” 

The Anemometer Loan Program will begin accepting applications on June 1, 2009. The deadline to apply for consideration in the first program year is July 31, 2009. Installations are scheduled to begin in August 2009.  Funding for the Arkansas Anemometer Loan Program comes from both the State of Arkansas and the Department of Energy’s Wind Powering America Program.