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Solar Panels Provide Environmentally Friendly “Energy Conservation” at Bluefield State College (w/photos)

  • Created
    Friday, February 18 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103
Solar_Panels_1 Solar_Panels_2

(Bluefield)—Solar energy panels have been installed at Bluefield State College, as a result of a $40,000 “Energy Conservation Grant” from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund/Department of Energy.  The award has covered the cost of a research project to promote adopting solar energy to illuminate a primary parking area at the College and to train BSC students in solar panel installation technology.

Dr. Tesfaye Belay, a faculty member at Bluefield State College, submitted the grant and was awarded for one year from July 2010 through January 2011. The BSC Offices of the Vice President of Financial and Administrative Affairs, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Engineering Technology & Computer Science were the major parties engaged to implement the research project.

Electrical Engineering Technology Professor Roy Pruett introduced the energy conservation project (solar panels) to his Power Systems Class during fall 2010 semester. As a result, BSC students Jason Roten, Garry Viars, Bernie Maynard, and Daniel Seide participated in class assignments, including a research paper on energy conservation.  Additionally, the solar panel locations, type, system and installation set-up were determined through the participation of BSC students, faculty and administrative staff.  Energy generated from the panels will be used to illuminate the campus parking lot adjacent to the Brown-Gilbert Basic Science Building.

“The project is also designed to reach out into the community to increase understanding and utilization of solar energy technology, reduce the College’s electricity costs, and increase students’ knowledge of the principles of solar energy conservation,” noted Dr. Belay, an Associate Professor of Biology at BSC.  “This grant permits Bluefield State College to illustrate how an energy conservation program can benefit students, administration and community.”