Alternative energy exhibit adds educational power to the Indiana State Fair

Wind turbine, solar panels installed on fairgrounds’ north side – Open House on Aug. 20

INDIANAPOLIS – A visit to the north side of the fairgrounds at the Indiana State Fair just isn’t complete without stopping at Pioneer Village. It’s like traveling back in time seeing all the overall-clad volunteers dipping their own candles and threshing wheat to make their own bread. Now, just a few feet away from this popular look at the past, there is a new exhibit that’s all about the future.

Just west of Pioneer Village stands a 45-foot tall, three kilowatt residential wind turbine and three 10 foot-by-20 foot photovoltaic awnings (solar panels) with 48 photovoltaic cells that demonstrate 21st century technology. Each of these examples of alternative energy will feed into interactive kiosks that show real-time development and past data of the energy they produce.

“The purpose of the exhibit is to help people better understand the concept and functionality of alternative energy,” Indiana State Fair Education Department Manager Justin Armstrong said. “This is no longer ‘space-age’ technology. Using alternative energy in a residential setting is happening now, and should only continue to grow as technology advances and more Americans look to conserve our planet’s natural resources.”

These permanent fixtures will also serve as focal points for an Alternative Energy Open House Aug. 20 from noon to 5 p.m. Representatives of Indiana‘s State Office of Energy and educators from the Benton County wind farm will be on hand to discuss the status of the technology and its presence in the Hoosier state. The exhibit will also be incorporated into the State’s Largest Classroom, the Indiana State Fairgrounds’ year-round educational program that educates area schoolchildren on agriculture.

The exhibit was made possible through grants from the Indiana Office of Energy & Defense Development and the Indiana Power & Light Company in partnership with Green Way Supply.