Raising awareness about wind energy in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest

// Civil & Environmental Engineering

Tags: Faculty

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Jim Tinjum practices what he preaches.

As a teacher of energy engineering and sustainability, Tinjum works to reduce his environmental impact.

He often bikes between 50 and 100 miles a week, though he currently bikes 150 miles per week to train for his upcoming three-week tour around sections of the upper Midwest.

Tinjum, an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Professional Development, will bike a total of 1,250 miles in three weeks to visit wind energy sites in Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota. (For an interactive map of Tinjum’s tour around these states, click here.)

Tinjum will embark on this journey as an effort to bring visibility and raise awareness about wind energy, especially in Wisconsin.

“Wind [energy] in Wisconsin is well behind the advances and capacities of neighboring states–Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, even Michigan–all have capacity ranging from higher than us to an order of magnitude higher than in Wisconsin,” he says.

Indeed, as reported by Wisconsin Public Radio, Iowa, Michigan and Indiana have dedicated resources to develop their renewable energy capacity, thus adding thousands of megawatts of wind power in recent years, while Wisconsin has gained just 17.

Tinjum’s purpose is not only to bring attention to Wisconsin’s slow embrace of wind energy, but also to highlight the successful energy sites in the Badger State. He is a program director for UW-Madison Engineering Professional Development, and one of his courses focuses on wind energy.

An avid biker, Tinjum thought of combining his passion for energy sustainability with cycling, and that’s how his Bike the Wind tour came about. However, he has bigger plans for the future.

“In a sabbatical year, I am planning a Seattle-to-Madison,” Tinjum says.

To view a visual version of this story, or to see more resources, click here.

Follow Tinjum on his trip by checking out his blog here.