April 11, 2012

New Solar Array to be Dedicated April 18, 11 a.m.

Earth Week Activities Feature Films, Exhibits, Cars & More

It’s time to make Mother Earth proud. Western Nevada College will celebrate Earth Week with a variety of activities that offer Northern Nevadans the chance to become more sustainable in everyday life.

The highlight of the week will be dedication of WNC’s first solar array on Wednesday, April 18, at 11 a.m., at the Carson City campus. The 840 ground-mounted solar panels now standing on the western side of campus are projected to save the college as much as $28,000 each year in electricity costs.

The 200-kilowatt array was constructed by Black Rock Solar of Reno, in conjunction with NV Energy’s SolarGenerations program. It will deliver a significant amount of the electricity needed to power the college’s largest building. It will also reduce carbon emissions and help WNC meet its green energy goals. The project is substantially subsidized with incentives offered by NV Energy to offset installation costs.

“Black Rock Solar is especially proud to partner with Western Nevada College on this 200-kilowatt array," said Deputy Director Marnee Benson. "As a non-profit organization, we have multiple goals - expanding the use of renewable energy, delivering financial benefits to those who need it most, protecting the environment, and educating the public - and we feel like we've made great progress with this project.”

WNC President Carol Lucey said that, “Thanks to the partnership between Western Nevada College, Black Rock Solar, and NV Energy, this project continues the alignment of our college with a sustainability mission, a direction which dates back many years. Our library was built in 2003 with sustainability in mind, and we signed on to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2009.

“We are a recycling campus,” Lucey said. “We were the first ESCO (heating & air conditioning efficiency) project in the Nevada System of Higher Education, and now we will have the largest solar array to be installed at an NSHE college to date.”
Representatives of WNC, NV Energy, Black Rock Solar, the Nevada State Office of Energy, the Nevada System of Higher Education, and others will join the public in dedicating the new solar array.

Guests will be treated to sun tea and SunChips after the ceremony.

Other Earth Week activities at WNC Carson City will address water, green energy, climate and waste, along with practices that protect and improve the environment.

Calendar of Events:

Monday, April 16:
Free Film: “The Mono Lake Story” & Nevada Water Issues Discussion 12-1:15 pm (bring your lunch) & 4-5:15 p.m. - Marlette Hall, Cedar Building.

The newly released documentary tells the story of the collapse of the Mono Lake ecosystem when the Los Angeles Department of Water began diverting water from the Sierra lake 350 miles to Los Angeles in 1941 and how the Mono Lake Committee stopped it. A discussion on the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s proposal to pump water from Eastern Nevada to Las Vegas will follow the 30-minute film.

Tuesday, April 17:

Waste Audit: What Exactly Are We Throwing Away?
10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., In front of the Bristlecone Building.

WNC students and faculty members will perform a waste audit on the lawn in front of the Bristlecone Building (weather permitting). They will sift through one campus building’s trash to reveal what should have been recycled.

Visitors will learn about WNC and Nevada recycling options and receive giveaways made out of recycled materials. Volunteers will be needed to sort, weigh and record materials; they will need to wear close-toed shoes for safety.

Wednesday, April 18: Green Energy Day

Drive Green: Alternative Fuel Vehicles
10 a.m.- 2 p.m., Parking lot west of Dini Library & Student Center.

Local auto dealerships will showcase the latest hybrid and electric vehicles, including the Chevy Volt, Ford Fusion, Toyota Prius and Nissan Leaf.

Renewable Energy Exhibits
10 a.m.- 2 p.m., Parking lot west of Dini Library & Student Center.

WNC’s Renewable Energy class instructor and students will display grid-tied solar electric demonstrators, and a stand-alone, off-grid solar electric and wind lab.
NV Energy will bring its Renewable Generations exhibit and present information on renewable energy incentive programs, as well as wind and solar hot water systems.

Solar Array Dedication Ceremony
11 a.m, Behind Aspen Building, on the west edge of campus.

Thursday, April 19:
Understanding Climate Change
6 p.m., Marlette Hall, Cedar Building

A slide show and video focuses on climate change. Produced by the Climate Reality Project, the presentation will also look at long-range forecasts and offer attendees a chance to discuss what contributions they can make.

For information about Western Nevada College Earth Week activities, contact Valerie Anderson of the WNC Sustainability Committee at 445-3222 or at valeriea@wnc.edu. For information about the Solar Array Dedication, contact Anne Hansen at 445-3235.

For additional information, please contact:
WNC Information and Marketing Services
2201 W. College Parkway
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: 775-445-3234
Fax: 775-445-3198
E-mail: info_desk@wnc.edu

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