NEW ULM – A few years from now, District 88 may begin to reap some benefits from wind energy.
The school district is registered as an “interested party” in a federally funded program that would potentially provide it with a revenue source from the sale of wind energy produced at a wind farm in western Minnesota, Superintendent Harold Remme told the Board of Education last week.
The school district will be participating in a Phase II grant process facilitated by Johnson Controls.
All costs associated with the project are covered by a federal grant. The grant will pay for 10-year interest-free bonds to fund the wind farm project.
Once the bonds are paid, the local school district, along with another 12-15 districts, would share in the profits from the wind farm, Remme said. The profit is estimated at $30,000-$40,000 a year and could help defray increased energy costs, Remme said.
The project would bring several advantages to the district at no cost, Remme said. Apart from the economic benefit, Remme finds the idea of its environmental value – promoting renewable energy – appealing. The project could have educational value, providing classroom enrichment, he also said. It could also have value from a public relations standpoint.
District 88 will be participating in a number of informational settings in August and September before a final decision is made about participation in the project. The deadline for joining is Nov. 31.
By Kremena Spengler
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