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Wind energy bill opens field to school districts  

School districts and community colleges can own and operate wind turbines under legislation signed into law this week.

Abingdon School District is planning a wind turbine project. Since discussions on the project began, five school districts, Carl Sandburg College and the city of Abingdon have formed the Abingdon Wind Energy Farm Group Project. Under Senate Bill 843, sponsored by Rep. Don Moffitt, R-Gilson, the school districts and municipality can jointly own a wind farm , with the proceeds being divided among the project participants.

“Without this legislation, schools would not be allowed to enter into agreements with other units of government to form a wind energy consortium,” said Moffitt. “The new law provides this local group, as well as other school groups across the state, a cost efficient way to build wind turbines in order to reduce operating costs and greenhouse emissions.”

The Abingdon project was a student initiative and the need for the legislation was discovered by the students, according to a news release from Moffitt.

Moffitt noted that wind is a clean energy source, and school-owned wind energy companies will reduce operating costs of public schools, thus saving taxpayers money.

The Register-Mail

8 September 2007

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