From our flagship wind resource assessment program and renewable energy assessments to public outreach in classrooms and other venues, the Institute works hard to be a reliable resource for your energy needs. Learn more about our services below and please
contact us to discuss how we can assist you.
Let the Institute for Energy assist you in finding ways to improve the efficiency of your home, farm or business and suggest the potential for renewable energy generation.
Agricultural Producers & Small Businesses
The Institute for Energy is currently able to offer farms and businesses FREE resource assessment reports to help you make wise energy decisions. You will be provided with a detailed wind and solar analysis, along with geothermal, hydro and biomass potentials and suggestions for improving energy efficiency. Interested in our assessment program? Contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or
filling out the form below.
Institute staff have the resources to seek out inefficiencies in your home and make suggestions for improvement and adding renewable energy generation. We can provide a walk through and testing of the home to identify health hazards, energy saving opportunities (including use of infrared technology and blower door equipment), and analysis of electricity usage and needs. Interested in our program? Contact us by emailing email@example.com or
filling out the form below for pricing and availability.
Our assessment services are made possible, in part, thanks to the support of the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund, the Robert Waters Charitable Trust, and the Community Initiatives Fund, all part of the
Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.
Renewable Energy Assessment Clearing House (REACH) Tool
Find information about developing a renewable energy project with our
REACH tool. Features include utility information, ordinances and more.
The Institute for Energy's Wind Resource Assessment Program (WRAP) is a first stop for Pennsylvania landowners interested in learning if their site has commercial wind potential. Wind maps and other data analysis tools are available through the Institute to explore wind characteristics at sites throughout the commonwealth. From the early 2000s to 2018, the Institute was also home to Pennsylvania's only anemometer loan program, which conducted onsite wind assessments. Learn more about our maps and equipment, the places we have assessed and an example of a completed project in the tabs below.
Our program utilized 50 and 60 meter tall NRG meteorological (met) towers. Each tower was equipped with anemometers (for measuring wind speed), wind vanes (for measuring direction) and a temperature sensor.
Wind Maps & Data Analysis
Wind speeds vary throughout the course of the year, so understanding averages and other characteristics is critically important to determining if a project will be feasible. The Institute has
wind maps depicting the average annual wind speed available at different heights, which are accessible to the public on our website. Additional data analysis tools are also available to Institute staff to help analyze the wind resource.
There has been an incredible amount of interest in the Community Wind Project since it was established by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in 2005. We've received over 600 applications from nearly every county in Pennsylvania. We have had 12 wind assessment projects in 7 counties and each site has collected a full 12 months of data. See the map below. We know this data is valuable both for project development on-site and also for validation and correlation purposes for other wind projects in the region - and for other research purposes. Contact us for information on our data and how to obtain it.
In September of 2005, the Saint Francis University Renewable Energy Center (now the Institute for Energy) received an application to measure the wind resource of agricultural land in Cambria County, to the north and west of Patton, PA. A review of our wind maps indicated the
potential for class 3 wind speeds (14.3 - 15.7 mph [in blue]) at 50 meters above the surface, enough to support utility-scale wind turbines.
After permits were approved and reviews completed, a 50 meter NRG meteorological tower was installed at an elevation of 2,220 feet (near the blue area on the above wind map - in orange above the 'ed' in Saint Benedict). The tower was placed in an open field away from
obstructions. The tower collected data beginning in June of 2006 and continued to do so until collection ended in March 2008. The tower was removed in April 2008.
To have a thorough understanding of the wind resource at a location, it is best to collect at least one year's worth of data. In chart one, average wind speed, notice that wind speeds are stronger during winter months than they are during mid to late summer.
In the second chart, diurnal wind speed, notice that wind speeds are slightly stronger during nighttime hours. Below, the third chart, wind direction frequency, shows that the wind comes predominately from the west and southwest at this site. The fourth chart shows that wind
speeds of 10 to 14 m.p.h. were the most commonly occurring during the period of June 2006 - September 2007.
With an average annual wind speed of 15.3 mph measured at the site, the center helped coordinate a request for proposals to potentially install a wind farm at the site. Tasks to development included 1) permitting (including environmental and interconnection to the grid), 2) public review, 3) securing a power
purchase agreement, 4) securing financing, 5) equipment procurement, 6) construction contracts, 7) construction, 8) maintenance contracts. Through a competitive process, OwnEnergy, Inc. was selected to move forward with the project. The developer worked with local farmers Marty
and Rick Yahner to gain the support of landowners and determine where the turbines would be placed.
EverPower Wind Holdings, Inc. purchased the project from OwnEnergy in late 2011. The wind farm was in operation at the end of 2012 (see photo gallery below and visit our
Facebook Page for more). Photos courtesy of Marty Yahner.
The Institute conducts classroom visits to enrich student learning on the subject of energy. We help to answer questions such as “where does the electricity lighting the classroom come from?” and "how tall is a wind turbine?" We also address environmental and economic
considerations associated with energy usage, with an emphasis on issues relevant to Western Pennsylvania. Programs can be customized for time and audience.
Hands-on learning is a major component of our educational outreach.
Thanks to the support of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, we are able to demonstrate electricity production from sources like solar, wind and hydro. Our KidWind kits allow students to create and test different blade and turbine designs to determine which are the best at generating electricity or lifting weights and our solar kits allow for solar resource assessment and experimentation with electricity. Also see our mobile power lab. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or
fill out the form below for details!
Institute staff deliver presentations to various audiences throughout
Pennsylvania each year on topics such as wind farm development and
renewable energy feasibility assessments. We occasionally host our own events and you may also find us exhibiting at farms, fairs, expos, and other community events.
To illustrate energy, we partner with area facilities to give individuals the opportunity to see energy in action. Cambria County, which calls itself the “Energy County,” features various energy sources producing valuable electricity, heat and fuel.
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