The Board of Directors of the Fenner Renewable Energy Education Center announced today that work is complete on its renewable energy classroom. Building construction began in 2011 and has progressed in phases over the last eight years.
When the FREE Center opened in 2006, the site was an open field with a single wind turbine blade on the ground for educational use. Since its opening, the Center has added informational kiosks, a willow test plot and, more recently, a solar array that produces the Center’s energy, with excess production being net metered back into the energy grid. Transforming the original pole barn style building to an insulated educational center for classes of up to 50 students was the final step. The building also features a composting toilet.
“This is the culmination of years of work and community involvement,” Judy Cary, FREE Center Board president said. “I have to especially thank the Central New York Community Foundation and National Grid for their generous support and grants. Their support was critical to completion of the education center.”
The Central New York Community Foundation awarded an $8,000 grant toward the education center renovations. National Grid provided $2,000 in grants and donated tables and chairs.
The FREE Center is a grassroots organization formed to educate the public on the benefits of renewable energy and other sustainable practices. The Center is located on Bellinger Road near the Fenner Wind Farm. Since late 2001, its founders have lived and/or worked among the 20 turbines that make up this 30 MW wind project. They organized to share their unique experience and to encourage others to embrace a clean energy future.
For more information or to schedule a site visit, go to www.thefreecenter.org or the organization’s Facebook page.