Bolling announces $800K to JMU for wind energy research

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling announced today that James Madison University will receive $800,000 from the government to further develop wind turbine testing, research and curriculum.

Speaking at JMU, Bolling said:

“The Small Wind Training and Testing Facility at JMU will help increase the potential for the growth of green jobs in Virginia, while advancing implementation of wind power across the Commonwealth. JMU, with its Virginia Center for Wind Energy, is well positioned to continue its leadership role in wind energy development and delivery of a training curriculum.”

Bolling announced that the funding will be used for “the training curriculum which would focus on small wind turbine safety, site assessment, installation and troubleshooting. It will also pay for the relocation of an existing tower to a new location; a new tower and turbine; instrumentation package; and equipment, materials and tools.”

Yesterday, the Republican administration announced an electric car initiative. Today’s announcement further shows Governor McDonnell’s commitment to an all of the above approach to energy reform.

If only our president were so wise and lifted the moratorium of offshore energy production.

  • Jim Cunningham

    Unfortunately, Republican politicians will be the last to realize that ‘alternative energy’ is a sham. The Demos have always known because they are the sham-meisters. The voters may be catching on, but when they do, the Demos will capitalize by changing their position. Meanwhile, the Republicans will be out shopping for bell-bottoms, trying to follow yet another fad.

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  • Alternative energy is not a sham, and a failure to invest in new ways of energy production will be a grave failure for all of us.

    An “all of the above” approach isn’t going to get us where we need to be fast enough. Say NO to new investment in fossil fuels, and yes to research and development of alternative energy sources. Our children will thank us.

  • Jim Cunningham

    If all energy becomes as expensive as the heavily subsidized windmill energy, our children will curse us in the dark!

  • Turbo Cohen,-118.272886&spn=0.035619,0.0842&t=h&z=14

    Jim Cunningham.. BS meter is pegged to the red zone bro.. take a closer look at the link above.. notice all the small lines in the Ca desert? Did ya zoom all the way in oh doubting one?

    And Jim.. Yes, that is the toughest renewable energy standard that has ever been fully implemented and complied with in US history.

    Energy man GW Bush advanced the wind energy agenda while he was texas gov..

    Today, Texas is the numero uno wind energy state. Most people deny it but while governor, Bush was the 1st to raise the prospect of generating 20% of our electricity harvested from near constant west to east winds that reliably blow well above 12 knots west of the rain line.

    We have been on the precipice of an energy rennaisance for decades. Through the miracle of Obama’s lack of leadership in the gulf and ill advised cap & trade’s fossil energy life support racket, we just might see enough public pressure develop to facilitate the bold initiatives our country needs to embrace in order to cut back our dependence on hydrocarbons.

    Our kids deserve 500 MW of wind generating capacity off Virginia’s eastern shore.

  • Turbo Cohen

    Most of the R&D required to see a reasonable return on investment has been done so well that the only remaining major problems with wind energy are political.
    This little town in Spain generates 70%..

    Virginia is not an alternative energy giant for lack of great minds.. Up until very recently it was due to a dire lack of leadership without worldy vision. I challenge anyone to spend months touring alternative energy installations across the US and around the world (I spent 3 months doing just that in California and the west). To look and not see the long term economic opportunities is to not look.

  • Brian Kirwin

    Joel, ditching your car any time soon? The only way wind energy is getting you to work is if you put a sail on your skateboard.

    If all these hypocrites who bemoan “fossil fuels” would just stop using them, I’d feel much better about their opinions about what I should do.

  • kingsmoothie

    I fully support a private company investing in wind energy in Virginia and getting a reasonable ROI. But some huge drive in renewable energy, not so much. In Spain, many more jobs were destroyed than created and that combined with huge subsidies is causing Spain some problems. There may be some good lessons there.

  • Montague Miller

    JMU is not the place to invest in wind energy. Tech or ODU have the engineering programs in place that could benefit from this investment.

    I question just what “new technology” will be generated by JMU?

    If they are going to develop a Tesla turbine driven generator, that would, at least, be the commercialization of an updated technology, but I suspect that all JMU will deliver for $800K is a new mounting system or perhaps a cowling for a standard blade-driven turbine.

    Developing alternative energy solutions is a smart course to take, but we need real investment in organizations, both private and public, who have the talent and expertise to capitalize on new and emerging technological solutions.

    JMU has a nice marching band, but is not the place to invest in energy research.

  • Turbo Cohen

    So Montague.. JMU does not in your assesment have a worthy engineering program?

    I will agree that ODU and Tech would be good schools but maybe there is some initiative or motivated faculty member spearheading a program. Years ago the Natural Gas vehicle challenge and other “challenges” spurn the development of enabling alternative energy technologies that today are on the market. The most valuable resource it developed was some students with a jump start in the alt fuels arena that manufacturers hired by the dozens because they had the desire to succeed and a head start. If Virginia is to succeed with the alternatives of tomorrow we need Virginia’s Universities to participate today. Wind power companies need a reason to sponsor collegiate competitions and this could be the signal they need to fold profits into a great Virginia School. I visited JMU collegues recently..

    Don’t underestimate the faculty or the facilities.. they are getting better every year.

  • Tyler Spires

    With ODU already having a green energy program it would have made more sennse for ODU to get the funding. But as the state sees things the state starts above Richmond

  • Jim "Turbo" Cohen

    @Tyler, JMU, ODU and Tech engineering programs share common allies and pull for team Va. If you doubt the worthiness of the new JMU engineering school to recieve 800K, here is a contact for you to email and ask questions.. 540-568-8110

    Professor Ronald G. Kander Ph.D. is the Director of the new JMU school of engineering. Dr. Kander was a professor at Va Tech Materials Science and Engineering program. He was also the DIRECTOR of the VT Green Engineering program for several years. Before that he was sr engineer working with advanced composites fibers at DuPont central research. In otherwords PROPELLERS, MAST & >90% of a windmill is made from the stuff that the department head of JMU engineering is well recognized as being quite well versed with.
    Look at a successful windmill and you are looking at a marvel of composite engineering and manufacturing moreso than electrical or mechanical. The enabler for lower cost to build and longevity is composites. The blades are hollow and quite thin yet uber tough.. they have to hold up to anything mother nature throws at them for decades and remain fail safe.

    Here is some more reference to this uber composites engineering school dept head:

    Want more?

    Hey Mr. Bolling, Add a 1, to that 800,000.00 today and help them find more manufacturing sponsors. JMU should be a good investment.

    Here is Dr. Kander’s bio..

    Nuff said.

  • Tim J

    You don’t suppose that leveraging some of that money featuring a partnership with ODU and the advanced composite structures and materials laboratory at NASA Langley would be an idea to get more matching federal grant money? Not to mention the aerodynamic analysis capability, structural engineers and wind tunnels at Langley, and that many of the PhD’s at NASA Langley teach in ODU’s engineering programs as adjunct professors? Not to mention the local industrial capability and capacity to manufacture these structures and energy conversion systems? Nah… that idea would never work.

  • Tyler Spires

    Its not like ODU dosent already have a green devolpment park which does work on this very subject. And a partnership with NASA for its wind tunnels.

  • Jim "Turbo" Cohen

    Tim J, 800K is an accounting error at ODU and Langley. It would benefit the state to help JMU establish a wind power program to take advantage of their location.
    I am sure some will balk at the thought of seeing windmills in that part of the state but the JMU program is focusing on smaller scale mills, not the 1-2MW big berthas at sea.

    There are plenty of prospective locations on farms to position a turbine near mountain ridges and elsewhere.

    The ODU research foundation, I used to work there, should apply for funds as I am sure they will.

  • James Hawkins

    I think that is great that Virginia is receiving some pork, I mean research money for wind turbine testing, research and curriculum.
    But if you want cheap electricity, build coal fuel power stations.
    And before anyone starts with the man-made global warming myth, man only produces 3% of total global CO2. We have had global cooling for the last 8 years. The European economies are being destroyed by their attempts to limit CO2 emissions with energy rationing (cap and trade). And the cap and tax (trade) bill (energy rationing) that Jimmy Carter, I mean Obama wants would cost each Virginia citizen about $1,200 the first year.
    However the Island of San Andres is a great place to vacation. $1,200 will buy many days of vacation. You keep your cap and tax, I will take San Andres.

  • Tyler Spires

    Coal is dirty. Nuclear power is a far better and safer solution

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