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MSU chooses Concord for wind test

MANCELONA – Michigan State University has chosen Concord Montessori and Community School as a wind test site and the data will be available to the public.

The project came together quickly after CM&CS outdoor education coordinator Erik Schupbach attended the community wind forum in Bellaire last month.

MSU Extension staff suggested Schupbach contact MSU and fill out an application to be considered as a testing site.

“They called me five days later to let me know we’d been chosen,” Schupbach said.
The anemometer, a device used to measure wind velocity, will be installed Wednesday, Sept. 1.

“Anybody can request the tower,” Schupbach said. “MSU has had hundreds of requests for it. They said they were interested because we’re a school.”

CM&CS paid a $25 application fee and $250 for the 13-month equipment loan program. Other wind testing equipment loan programs can cost thousands of dollars and the data collected often is not available to the general public.

Data collected will be available to the public, posted on the MSU Web site (miwind.info) and the entire project will be used as an educational tool for CM&CS students.

“No one in this corridor has on-the-ground data,” Schupbach said. “This is the first anemometer study done along the corridor and we expect it will confirm what we know to be pretty good, sustained wind out here.”

According to MSU Extension specialist Eric Wittenberg, only high wind or lightning would delay installation for minutes or hours.

“We’re going for it,” he said Tuesday afternoon.

Schupbach said since the study is being conducted on public land will open the door for a future community wind project and more private land owners learning about the potential for wind energy.