School Wind Energy Project Ideas for Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP) Settlements
The Spirit Lake Community School District in Spirit Lake, Iowa, uses energy from the wind to fund its educational programs. The district's two wind turbines not only power the school buildings with clean energy, but they also provide revenue for the district (the local utility purchases the excess energy generated by the turbines).
Spirit Lake funded its wind turbines with grants and low-interest loans, but school districts faced with budget cuts and a diminishing tax base have another funding option: Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs). SEPs are a policy vehicle designed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to give violators an alternative to standard fines for noncompliance. Instead of paying the full amount of its fines, the company can volunteer to fund environmentally friendly projects. SEP settlement negotiations for many types of violations can be used to fund wind project development.
This publication lists project concepts by offering them in the spirit of brainstorming. Some project ideas may not apply to all jurisdictions.
This information was last updated on April 25, 2006