Cumberland Times-News

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December 22, 2006

Wind, solar

New FSU center to research home-based systems

Frostburg State University is positioning itself to take advantage of the nation’s growing shift to renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power. With the help of a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), the university is developing a research center to study smaller-scale solar and wind energy projects.

With the grant, the FSU Department of Physics and Engineering will construct a demonstration project using a 35-45 foot wind turbine and solar panels to supply energy to a small building on the FSU campus. Such a system could serve as a model for development of renewable energy sources for individual residential properties.

Beyond construction of the demonstration project, FSU plans to develop a long-term research presence to further study renewable energy and serve as an educational resource for wind and solar power issues.

FSU is to be commended for developing the new initiative.

With the wind turbines of Meyersdale, Pa. visible from atop Big Savage Mountain, just west of campus, and wind farms planned for Garrett and Allegany counties, the campus is well positioned geographically to be part of this emerging field, which promises to grow as the U.S. ramps up efforts to develop energy independence.

More than just academia, though, the new effort is designed to produce real-world applications, not just for industry, but for average homeowners looking to cut their energy bills. As part of its outreach efforts, FSU will host a symposium on renewable energy in May.

For more information about FSU’s solar-wind energy project, contact Oguz Soysal, chair of the physics and engineering department, at (301) 687-7079 or e-mail osoyal@frostburg.edu.

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