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Wind Application Center

Wind Application Center


The South Dakota Wind Application Center (SDWAC) is located in Brookings at South Dakota State University in the Mechanical Engineering Department under the direction of Michael Twedt. Twedt has been the SDWAC director since its establishment in 2007. The SDWAC leads the South Dakota Wind for Schools (SDWfS) efforts through technical analysis, classroom and event workshops for K-12 students and data interpretation/download aid to participating schools. Steve Wegman is the SDWfS Liaison and has served in this role since its inception. Wegman supports the SDWfS program via resource development.

The SDWAC/SDWfS core activities include supporting onsite wind turbine analysis and installation at the participating schools, providing wind energy education outreach to regional K-12 students, assisting schools with wind turbine issues and supporting wind energy production data transfer.

South Dakota Wind for Schools


Our key results to date include hands-on wind energy outreach to approximately 300 K-12 students per year. We have assisted in the installation of wind turbines at the following sites in South Dakota:

  • Elkton Public School; Elkton.
  • Memorial Middle School; Sioux Falls.
  • Faith High School; Faith.
  • Sanborn Central School District, Forestburg.
  • Dakota Valley Elementary School; North Sioux City.
  • Selby High School; Selby.
  • Douglas School District; Box Elder.
  • Yankton School District; Yankton.
  • Wessington Springs High School; Wessington Springs.
  • Lake Andes Central High School; Lake Andes.
  • Brookings Middle School, Brookings (portable wind turbine).
SDWAC 8th Grade Hands On Activity

The following is a Google map of South Dakota showing SDWfS school wind turbine installations (indicated by the stars). 

Google map of South Dakota showing SDWfS school wind turbine installations (indicated by the stars)
SD Wind Energy Statistics

The hands-on activities have generated exceptionally positive feedback from local schools and we expect to continue to generate positive learning experiences. Since wind energy systems utilize such a wide array of professions and fields, including engineering and sciences, these exercises are applicable to many different K-12 classes as well to a wide array of K-12 student's future career interests. Common related topics addressed in K-12 include wind and renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainability, environmental stewardship and green design.


Important Metrics for SDWAC/SDWfS: 

  • Offer ME416/516 Renewable Energy Systems course at SDSU. Wind energy is a major component of the course.
  • Developed Sustainable Energy Systems Minor at SDSU.
  • Approximately two to five undergraduate students are employed annually to support SDWAC outreach.
  • Perform hands-on wind energy activities to K-12 students (approx. 400+ students/year).