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 Slippery Rock University goes green with solar, wind energy system 



Jan. 11, 2007
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine:

Slippery Rock University goes green with solar, wind energy system

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. –Slippery Rock University will make further progress in the clean energy field Jan. 15 when it activates a solar and wind turbine system to generate electricity for its Robert A. Macoskey Center for Sustainable Systems Education and Research.

            The use of these types of energy technologies offers a smart way to reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases associated with global warming, Thomas Reynolds, Macoskey Center director, said. SRU received a $27,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Department Development Authority for the project.

            "By identifying, designing and implementing clean energy policy and technology solutions, we are delivering important environmental and economic benefits," he said. "The new system will also provide additional opportunities for students and the community at large to observe clean energy technology and study ways to move toward local energy independence."

            The wind turbine will be erected at the top of a ridge about 100 yards south of the Macoskey Center's Harmony House and be visible from the SRU main campus. Solar panels closer to the building have been in place but will be activated on Monday.

            Wind turbines use spinning blades to power a generator that makes electricity without  emissions. The solar system will use photovoltaic panels to convert the sun's rays into utility-grade current. Both systems will record and display real-time energy data on a Web site being created specifically for the Macoseky Center systems, Reynolds said.

            The system follows research by former graduate student Heath Gamache, who studied the feasibility of  the project by erecting a 100-foot meteorological tower on the Macoskey property that measured wind speed and direction for a year.

            The 83-acre Macoskey Center was created in 1990 to promote a shift at SRU and the local community toward sustainability and enacts this mission with: physical demonstration of sustainable technologies and systems; education about sustainability through events, workshops and programs; and support for sustainability-focused academic initiatives and research.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

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