Governor Joins 'Resourceful Kansas' Team
for Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Governor Sam Brownback joins Resourceful Kansas team members Riley County Public Works, GBA Architects and Engineers, and Kansas State University to celebrate the launch of ‘Resourceful Kansas: A Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Blueprint for Communities Across Kansas’
Riley County, Kan. (April 13, 2011)
– A brisk breeze sent turbines spinning, setting the scene for a successful ribbon-cutting ceremony today at the Riley County Public Works facility for “Resourceful Kansas.” The program, funded by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, is designed to engage communities throughout the state in making a fundamental shift toward a less energy-intensive, more efficient economy. Kansas Governor Sam Brownback joined the Resourceful Kansas team to celebrate the launch of the program.
Governor Brownback affirmed his support for changing the environmental outlook for Kansas communities, saying that the key to an energy-efficient transition is a balance of the three Es...Environment, Economy, and Energy. Earlier this year, the governor gave a nod to renewable energy in his State of the State address, saying “I want Kansas to be known not only as the Wheat State, but as the Renewable State.”
According to GBA Project Manager Jennifer Gunby, P.E., LEED AP, Resourceful Kansas is a very exciting program designed to reduce energy consumption, increase efficient energy practices, help Kansas harvest its abundant, nonpolluting wind and solar resources, and cultivate new economic opportunities throughout the state. “This innovative program will engage local governments and others in implementing projects that will save energy and demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of sustainable energy and economic development strategies for Kansas and surrounding states,” she said.
Resourceful Kansas Seminars
A primary focus of the program is a series of one-day seminars offered at the Riley County Public Works (RCPW) facility to selected organizations throughout the state including cities, counties, and state agencies; public schools, unified school districts, and private schools; public colleges, universities, and technical schools; agribusinesses; and non-profit organizations. Coordinated by the K-State Engineering Extension, a total of eight seminars will engage at least 120 organizations in Kansas. The seminars will provide participants with an unprecedented opportunity to learn first-hand about sustainable technologies and practices to improve energy efficiency as well as the resources available for implementing them.
The RCPW facility, an award-winning model for sustainable design, incorporates the latest wind, solar, and other green technologies including four wind turbines ranging from 2.4kW to 100kW, four solar energy systems, a 200,000 BTU waste oil heater, a 30-ton geothermal heating and cooling system, and numerous other technologies and features. Rod Meredith, Assistant Director, Riley County Public Works, serves as project manager for the Resourceful Kansas team and helped ensure that the RCPW complex incorporated green building and maintenance practices.
“From the outset, our goal was to achieve the County’s vision of helping save taxpayer dollars by being a leader in the State of Kansas in implementing renewable, energy-efficient systems at County facilities,” he said. During the program, the effectiveness of the renewable energy features will be evaluated and the information shared. Kansas State University’s Wind Applications Center will compare energy produced by the wind turbines installed at RCPW with data measured from an existing meteorological tower on-site.
Following the seminars, GBA Architects and Engineers will conduct on-site energy assessments for selected participants that will address energy usage, renewable energy generation, and transportation impacts. These customized cost and benefit reviews will include a prioritized list of energy-saving technologies. GBA’s team of architects, engineers, and construction managers will provide support to help entities implement proposed energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects. GBA’s commissioning agents will help ensure that projects work as intended. “Our goal is to translate these opportunities into successful, comprehensive projects with immediate, measureable, and sustainable reductions in energy use and air emissions,” said GBA’s Gunby.
During the three years of the project, the team will monitor the results and summarize the aggregate results of the program. Resourceful Kansas will conclude with public outreach to ensure that the benefits of the program extend beyond the immediate participants to others throughout the state and region. The team will publicize case studies, including innovative technologies, issues encountered, and lessons learned on the Resourceful Kansas website at www.ResourcefulKansas.org.