Agricultural Research Service Has Wind Power

ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Don Comis, (301) 504-1625, [log in to unmask]
August 2, 2006
--View this report online, plus any included photos or other images, at
Texas has moved into first place in the United States for wind power
production, with help from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). The
research agency also has helped Minnesota become one of the top 10
wind-powered states in the country.

Nolan Clark oversees the wind power research done by engineers in the
ARS Renewable Energy and Manure Management Research Unit at Bushland,
Texas, while Abdullah Jaradat oversees wind research at the ARS North
Central Soil Conservation Laboratory in Morris, Minn.

At Bushland, ARS scientists built a computer system that seamlessly
links wind power with a diesel generator and solar power. This hybrid
system switches as needed between power sources without interruption in
providing electricity to the power grid.

The Texas scientists are working with the Alaska Energy Authority and
the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative to bring this system--minus the
solar power--to Arctic towns such as Selawik, Kotzebue and Toksook.
There are now about a dozen villages using the hybrid system, and more
on the way.

The Bushland unit operates larger, airplane-size, three-blade turbines
for wind-farm research for the U.S. Department of Energy. They have also
tested small wind turbines to power irrigation pumps and water pumps in
remote rangeland areas to provide water for livestock.

The Minnesota researchers are working with the University of Minnesota
to power the Morris campus with wind-generated electricity. The Morris
campus, which already gets about 60 percent of its electricity from
wind, hopes to eventually "ship" enough excess electricity to the main
university campus at St. Paul to meet 20 percent of that campus’ energy

There are also plans to eventually use wind power to generate hydrogen
from water to provide electricity for the two campuses.

Steve Wagner, an ARS electrical engineer at Morris, and colleagues have
created wind maps that show many other areas in Minnesota suitable for
farming the wind.

Read more about the research in the August 2006 issue of Agricultural
Research magazine, available online at:

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific research

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Dr. Ann C. Wilkie                          Tel: (352)392-8699
Soil and Water Science Department          Fax: (352)392-7008
University of Florida-IFAS
P.O. Box 110960                         E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Gainesville, FL 32611-0960
Campus location: Environmental Microbiology Laboratory (Bldg. 246).
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