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Institute for Energy News and Publications


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  • Institute for Energy News

     Recent Institute Activities:

    January 2017

    Institute staff gave a presentation on the benefits of infrared technology at the Science Outreach Center’s “Science Cafe: Cosmic Cocktails” event on January 5, 2017. Allison Rohrs and Michael Sell discussed how infrared cameras can be used in a variety of applications, with a focus on building energy assessment scenarios. They demonstrated ways to reducing air leaks and heat loss by showing imagery of locations where insulation could be increased and weatherstripping could be added, among other examples.

    December 2016

    Community members in Blair County were able to learn about wind energy during a presentation by Michael Sell, project coordinator, on December 15, as part of the monthly Cosmic Treats program held at the Hollidaysburg Area Community Library.

     

    November 2016

    Science Day 2016Students from area schools visited Saint Francis University as part of Science Day on November 22. The Institute presented "The Power of Wind (and Other Energy Sources)," which was followed by hands-on wind and solar activities - pictured. Read more

    As part of PA CareerLink's "Careers in Demand" week, Michael Sell visited Richland High School seventh graders on November 1 to speak about wind energy and provide a hands-on activity with the institute's model wind turbines. Wind turbine technician was ranked as the "fastest growing job in America" by Forbes  in April 2016. On November 3, eighth grade students learned about the rapidly growing solar energy industry and participated in a hands-on solar electricity experiment and solar-powered car race. Our activities have been made possible by the PA Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education grants, including a recent $2,710 award for solar energy outreach. 

     October 2016

    Allison Rohrs, Institute Director, was named a 2016 Women in Energy Leadership award recipient by the Pittsburgh Business Times! Read more 

     

     September 2016

    Energy on the Farm Farm Show DisplayThe Institute presented an exhibit titled "Energy on the Farm" at the 2016 Hollidaysburg Community Farm Show, in Blair County, in mid-September.  It was recognized with a second place award in the general agriculture theme division. Visitors were able to learn tips about energy efficiency and renewable energy, including ways to save money on lighting and irrigation as well as different ways to use solar and wind energy on the farm.

    Participants in the SFU Science Outreach Center's Solar 5K race were able to learn about  wind energy as they explored the solar system on September 17. The Institute represented the planet Neptune, which is home to the fastest wind speeds in the solar system, over 1,000 mph!  

     July 2016

    Energy Sprout AwardThe Institute was awarded $3,000 for its third place finish in the statewide Energy Sprout competition held during the Energypath Conference at Penn State University on July 28. The award recognizes the Institute's proposal to develop the REACH interactive online tool, which aims to help Pennsylvanians have a one-stop shop for renewable energy information. Thank you to the Sustainable Energy Fund and West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund for organizing this competition. In addition to the award, Michael Sell attended the Passive House camp and intern Courtney Cruse participated in the Biomass Camp. The Institute also represented the university in the exhibition hall on Thursday and Friday.


    Energy CampStudents in grades four to six learned about the amazing world of energy at Energy Camp! Activities included building generators, melting marshmallows with solar energy, experimenting with model wind turbines, building wind powered cars and anemometers, measuring electrical usage and air quality, cookie mining, and more. Participants also saw energy in action during a field trip to local energy sites like the Patton Wind Farm and Prince Gallitzin State Park. Allison Rohrs, director, spoke about her experiences as a wind turbine technician. A concluding activity tasked each child to use their newfound energy knowledge to design their own island, complete with a house and other attractions of their choice, such as a castle, amusement park, stores and more. The students also had to determine how to power their property. Thanks to EverPower Wind Holdings for supporting our program! Learn more about the Science Outreach Center's summer programs.

    June 2016
    Institute staff toured Pittsburgh's new Energy Innovation Center.

    The Institute participated in the semi-finals of the Energy Sprout community competition, presented by the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund and Sustainable Energy Fund.  Our idea was selected to move on to the final round, which will take place at Energypath in July!

    May 2016

    The Institute was awarded $100,000 from the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program to provide individualized assessments for improving energy use to agricultural producers and rural small businesses throughout Pennsylvania. Read Congressman Bill Shuster's congratulatory message. In addition, the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund, administered through The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, provided $17,000 matching funds for the project.  

    Quantum Quest Fest 2016Quantum Quest Fest at Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center brought 300 students together to learn about a variety of science topics. The Institute spoke about wind energy and demonstrated how this resource can be used to do work (such as lifting weights) and generate electricity.

    The Institute participated in the SFU Science Outreach Center's R-SPACE program for second graders at C.W. Longer Elementary School, Hollidaysburg.

    Michael Sell visited students at Saint Michael School, Loretto, and Saint Patrick School, Newry.  

    April 2016 
     Approximately 50 Career and Workforce students in 8th grade at Johnstown Middle School learned about electricity and wind energy production before participating in a hands-on activity. The presentation was a precursor to a trip to the Patton Wind Farm the following day.

    Kite Day - Hollidaysburg Area Public Library - Will Hillenbrand, author of Kite Day, was on hand for a PA OneBook program. SFU's R-SPACE provided a planetarium and wind activity and there was also craft activity.  

    SFU Earth Day Carnival 2016The SFU Earth Day Carnival was held at the JFK Lounge on Tuesday, the 19th. More than 450 were in attendance! 

    The Institute visited MetLife Johnstown's Earth Fair on Earth Day to educate employees about sustainable topics, like energy use.

    Sixth grade students at Penn-Mont Academy spent an April morning learning about wind and solar energy during a presentation and hands-on activities with Michael Sell.

    New solar curriculum will be developed thanks to a $2710 grant provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. 

    March 2016 
    Michael Sell visited fourth grade Girl Scouts in Duncansville to discuss energy efficiency and conduct an audit with them. 

    Michael Sell  served as a judge at the 2016 PA KidWind Challenge. See  video and  read more. 

    January 2016 
    The Institute kicked off its new home energy auditing program by conducting it's first energy assessment. Learn more about our assessment program.  


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  • Institute for Energy Publications

    Pennsylvania Wind Farms [.pdf] - A Listing of farms, locations, number of turbines and more

    See our research page to learn more about our work!