Wind at JMU
In 2009, JMU was recognized by the Board of Directors of the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium (VCERC) as the lead university in Virginia in terms of guiding collaborative efforts that pertain to wind energy on land and offshore. JMU now hosts the VCERC-Virginia Center for Wind Energy (VCWE) which serves as the academic center that addresses the needs and issues that relate to wind energy development on behalf of citizens, communities, and industries in Virginia.
Nearly one half million dollars was awarded recently to JMU for wind energy efforts, and the JMU wind research and outreach teams are leading in this area for the Commonwealth. JMU is collaborating with several other Virginia universities including Virginia Tech and Old Dominion University and is addressing many different areas that are critical to Virginia stakeholders; these include resource assessment , modeling, mapping and geospatial analysis, outreach, and training to name a few.
JMU was recently invited by the U.S. Department of Energy to join the Wind for Schools program (http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2010/804.html) and to participate as a Wind Applications Center. This program will provide opportunities for students from ISAT and other majors to participate on projects at K12 schools around the state that involve siting and development of small wind projects and corresponding classroom activities. JMU will also train teachers to incorporate wind energy into their current science, technology, and math curricula.
JMU has also been awarded to manage the Virginia small wind rebate program that is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. JMU has been tasked by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to review and evaluate proposed projects and to train new installers of wind systems in Virginia.
In addition, JMU was recently awarded a planning grant by the National Science Foundation to develop an Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Wind Energy in partnership with Old Dominion University and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=0934325). This Center, once established, will be the only I/UCRC dedicated to wind energy research in the country and will include over a dozen industry partners and eventually as many as 9-10 university partners from across the U.S.
The new efforts described above and others in development will provide many new opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students from various disciplines to engage in the fastest-growing energy technology in the U.S. and the world. The VCERC-Virginia Center for Wind Energy is directed by Mr. Ken Newbold and Dr. Jonathan Miles.