Partnership made possible by donation from electrical workers
The Crane Union High School, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW Local 48) and Columbia Energy Partners (CEP) celebrated the first step in a program to create a wind power curriculum at one of Oregon’s most remote — and windiest — schools. The effort was launched last week with a $10,000 donation from IBEW Local 48 to the Crane school board.
The program is intended to provide Crane students a hands-on understanding of how wind power projects are developed as well as an opportunity to work in the fast-growing industry.
“We are very pleased to accept this donation from the IBEW and our friends at Columbia Energy Partners,” said Pat Sharp, administrator of the Crane school. “We are very excited about the prospects for being part of the renewable energy economy here in Harney County.”
“The men and women of IBEW Local 48 are on the front lines when it comes to building wind power and renewable energy projects,” said Clif Davis, business manager for Portland-based IBEW Local 48. “We salute the Crane School and Columbia Energy Partners for working with us to help create the kind of jobs and job-training Oregon will need to build a better, greener future for our children and our environment.” Dave Johnston, IBEW Local 48 business representative presented the $10,000 donation to the Crane School in recognition of assistance Columbia Energy Partners provided to Local 48 in arranging financing for a photo-voltaic solar energy project on Local 48’s headquarters building in Portland, Oregon.
“From our perspective, this is a great chance to build a better understanding of what renewable energy can do for the local community and the environment,” said Chris Crowley, president of Columbia Energy Partners (CEP). CEP plans several hundred megawatts of projects in the area, with a first 100 MW already permitted and in an EIS process for a transmission line to reach the grid. “Once our projects are up and running, we’d love to have local people helping to build and maintain our projects,” he added.
CEP plans to work with others in the industry to help the Crane school obtain equipment to test the wind resource in the area around the school, teach students how to collect and interpret data, conduct avian and other necessary site studies and — if the site is sufficiently windy — explore erecting wind turbines to help power the Crane school.