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green energy

July 3, 2010 - 1:20pm

Digital signs are nothing new for area schools -- but Robert Morris Elementary, at 80 Union St. in Batavia, is the first school in the Genesee Valley to have a solar-powered digital sign, which was unveiled last month.

The new 3x8 sign, which shares important information with the school community, is fully powered by the sun's energy, collected and converted into electricity by solar panels on the school's roof.

This environmentally friendly and money-saving technology allows the sign to store energy and stay powered up even at night and in overcast weather. 

The sign is part of Robert Morris' "Going Green" project, which is being coordinated by the all-volunteer parent group FORM (Friends of Robert Morris).

The "green" project, in turn, is part of the school's committment to educating students and keeping them informed about renewable energy and environmentally responsible technology.

As the current school year drew to a close, Principal Diane Bonarigo went to each of the classrooms and explained the new solar sign to students -- including how it would turn the sun's energy into electricity, etc.

"Our students are very excited about learning how solar energy is powering this sign," Bonarigo said in a news release. "(It) will engage (them) for years to come."

FORM co-chair Roseann Quinn said that they would like to focus more intensely on "green" education in September. She mentioned the possibility of having professionals come in and speak to the kids about different renewable energy technologies, as well as basic education in the classrooms.

"Now with the solar sign, the kids have something they can see and touch (to go along with lessons)," Quinn said.

Quinn also said that FORM and Bonarigo would like to put the students in charge of the sign when the next school year starts. Right now, Bonarigo controls what words appear on the sign from her laptop computer; in September, they hope to give the kids more input into the way words appear and change.

At Robert Morris, going green also involves lots of landscape planting on school grounds. Here are some pictures of new trees and bushes that have been put in already: 

June 15, 2010 - 10:47pm
posted by Jeff Allen in green energy, President Obama, renewable energy, Blogs.

We have heard President Obama's address to the nation on the Gulf Coast oil spill.  As expected, there were more calls for "comprehensive energy reform", "green energy", and "renewable energy".  These have been mantras of the Administration since day one.  I too would like to see a reduction in Americas dependence on foreign oil, but a major move to get off fossil fuels completely has been a hot political button for some time.  The left will claim right wing loyalties to "big oil" or "corporate interests" and the right will point out the absurdities of "envrionmental whackos".

Although I have never been a hardcore science buff and Einsteins E=mc2 has always eluded me,  I came across this article that explains the theory in a way that I found remarkably understandable.  It also explains why the obstacles of renewable energy are not political but physical.  It is not a particularly long read, but it is a fascinating one:

www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm

Reading the article begs the question...Unless President Obama can change the laws of physics or embrace nuclear energy with more enthusiasm, just how does he expect to implement broad, realistic, and impactful renewable energy policies?

February 3, 2009 - 8:17am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, GCC, wind power, schools, green energy.

From Genesee Community College:

Wind energy continues to be the talk of the town, but who knew that small towns in New York State hold the key to wind energy development? Community wind energy is an alternative model of wind energy development that puts the control of the process in the hands of the local community, rather than a corporate wind developer. Community wind is defined as a wind project that is developed and owned wholly, or partially, by an entity representing the local community. Community wind projects are specifically designed to provide benefits to the local community, including income and jobs. Community wind offers a solution to the wind project location and permit issues that have divided many communities all over New York State.

Genesee Community College is pleased to host a free Community Wind Forum on February 18 from 12:00 until 2:00 p.m. at the Batavia campus in room T102. The forum will be presented by Pace Energy and Climate Center, a program of Pace University. The forum will include a basic introduction to wind energy; a discussion of the Community wind model, including community organizing and project financing and ownership models; and a question and discussion period. The Community Wind Forum is free and community members, especially planners, municipal officials, and students are encouraged to attend.

Featured speakers include Loren Pruskowski, founder and current vice president of finance and director of community wind operations at Sustainable Energy Developments, Inc. (SED), and a principal organizer of the community wind effort in Knox, Albany County; and Todd Olinsky-Paul, energy policy analyst with Pace Energy & Climate Center, who has studied wind energy location issues and the role of communities and municipalities in wind energy development.

Community wind projects are needed in New York State. New York has implemented a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that requires 25% of electricity sold in the state to come from renewable sources by 2013. In addition, New York is a "home rule" state which means each town is empowered by the state to write its own zoning laws. These laws determine how land within the town can be used. Each town decides whether to allow windmills, and how to regulate them. These factors make community wind a promising model for New York.

Participants in the forum will learn what goes into the various phases of community wind development, including resource assessment, project feasibility studies, community organizing, project finance, design and construction, and operations and maintenance. Speakers will also discuss community wind development work that has been performed in other parts of the state, and the economics of community wind, including different financing and ownership models. Anyone interested in developing a wind project in their own community is encouraged to attend and ask questions.

"We are pleased to be able to discuss an alternative model for wind energy development, and a new, local development opportunity for the Genesee Valley region," Todd Olinsky-Paul of Pace Energy & Climate Center said. "As New York State pursues renewable energy solutions, the benefits and opportunities offered by Community Wind Energy are essential. We look forward to the conversation with Genesee Valley residents."

For further information, please contact Donna Rae Sutherland, associate director of Marketing Communications and co-chairman of Genesee Community College Environmental Task Force at 585-343-0055 x 6616.

November 6, 2008 - 11:07am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, business, GCC, environment, Tops, green energy.

From Genesee Community College:

The latest program organized by Genesee Community College's chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) to benefit the general community is a one-day plastic bag collection effort at the Batavia Campus on Tuesday, November 11, 2008 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM in the cafeteria. All members of the College and local community are encouraged to participate, and those participants who bring in "bags of bags" (35 bags or more) will receive a free Tops Market reusable shopping tote.

"Every year millions of plastic bags are dumped in landfills and thousands more litter our streets, steams and waterways. Plastic bags destroy our marine life and our environment," Jennifer Bryant, student president of Phi Theta Kappa said. "Our goal with this plastic bag collection and recycling initiative is to promote a healthy alternative."

Tops Markets is not only donating 100 reusable shopping totes to the recycling effort, but they are also accepting the multitude of bags from PTK's one-day collection and will ensure that they are properly processed and recycled into other items.

Another green opportunity sponsored by PTK includes signing up for the "End Junk Mail" project wherein PTK members will fill-out and mail in the special postcard in the ‘opt out' of junk mail database. Participants in this initiative help eliminate the volumes of unwanted junk mail most Americans receive daily. In addition, PTK will be selling the special Chico reusable totes which are made from 100% natural products. Proceeds from the $5 Chico totes support the Hites Foundation scholarship fund for PTK members who are transferring to 4-year colleges.

Established in 1918, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership, and service programming.

For more information about PTK, contact Dr. Alicea-Maldonado, faculty advisor for Phi Theta Kappa at 585-343-0055 x6391 or email: [email protected].

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