Solar panels, energy-efficient lighting among student projects funded by the A.S. Green Energy Fee
By Olena Rypich
WWU University Communications
Five innovative student projects were selected to receive a combined total of $263,900 in funding from the Associated Students Green Energy Fee grant program.
The program is funded by money left over from Western's Green Energy Fee. Students pay $21 each academic year to purchase enough renewable energy credits to offset 100 percent of Western's electrical energy usage.
Western's Green Energy Fee Committee, comprised of students, faculty and staff, awarded grants to students who came up with cutting-edge ideas that promote environmentally sustainable practices on campus.
A proposal from a team led by Matthew Moroney of Salt Lake City was awarded $167,500, to install a 5-kilowatt solar panel array on the Environmental Studies Building's south-facing roof.
Grant Bowman of Dallas and his group were awarded $61,000 to retrofit parking lot light fixtures with energy-efficient light-emitting diodes.
Seattle's Julia Shure's proposal to install water-bottle-refilling stations around campus and fund speakers and events related to the global water crisis and the bottled water industry was awarded $21,000.
A proposal led by Bodie Cabiyo from Tonasket to replace paper towel dispensers with high-speed air hand dryers in selected bathrooms around campus, reducing both energy consumption and paper waste, was awarded $13,000.
A paper-towel-composting project, led by Greg Meyer of Piedmont, Calif., will modify selected waste receptacles in Haggard Hall to only accept organic waste to be composted. This project was awarded $1,400.
Selections of student-driven proposals were based on three goals: increasing student involvement and education, substantially reducing the university's environmental impact and raising awareness while engaging Western students in environmental issues.
Kathryn Freeman, Green Energy Fee adviser, said all five projects are currently in the design phase. After the design is completed, a formal estimate will be provided by Facilities Management. Once the estimate is approved, construction of the various technologies will begin. She said all the projects are all planned to begin or be installed during fall quarter.