Climate Collaborative Pushes For Solar Panels

Sam Mungai, News Writer • swmungai16@ehc.edu

The Emory & Henry Climate Collaborative has recently launched a letter supporting the idea of solar panels to be placed on an eight-acre piece of land near where the solar panels of the radio station are placed. The group consists of 20 members, including both faculty and students.

Member of the group and second-year student Chloe Yates said, “We had about 324 signatures from the student body regarding the petition.” She added, “This is a good investment for the college because it will help cut back on energy cost.”

Geography Professor Edward Davis emphasized that the effort was student-led. He explained the group’s motivation, saying, “Currently Emory & Henry is supplied with electricity from a landfill gas project that is much cleaner than fossil fuels, but our power would be even cleaner if it were from solar power. These solar panels would allow the college to produce 25 percent of its overall power supply, which in the long run would be good both for the college and for the environment.”

With this plan in mind, the students who are members of the group got together to assemble a letter for the student body to sign. During their rally in getting the letter signed, there were questions about whether the solar panels will be bought by the college, because some fear that it will raise tuition fees, said Davis. He said the plan was that “the solar panels would be leased to the college for a period of twenty years and after this period the college would own the panels and have the power at no charge, so the students would see no impact on their tuition.”

Yates said, “I have been living here for most of my life, and I have personally seen the way the community is changing to become greener. I am so glad that Emory is becoming greener and glad that these solar panels will make Emory more sustainable.”

As E&H is looking forward to a greener future, Davis said, “the college is committed to have zero carbon footprint by 2036. Why 2036? Because it’s the two hundredth anniversary of the college and the president wants the college to be resilient enough to be around another 200 years.”

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