July 19, 2006

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell will host a week-long solar workshop conducted by Solar Energy International (SEI) as part of the Sustainable Energy Fund of Central Eastern Pennsylvania's Solar Scholars Program.

The workshop starts Aug. 7 and will be conducted at Ritter House, the new home of the Bucknell Environmental Center.

"This is an exciting initiative," said Jessica Scott, a Bucknell junior. "In order to reduce our reliance on oil-based fuels and our impact on the environment, we must look seriously at sustainable energy. At Bucknell, a dedicated team of students, faculty, and staff have banded together to show that we do take sustainable energy seriously."

Workshop participants will include Bucknell and the five pilot schools — Clarion University, Pennsylvania State University, Mercyhurst College, Messiah College, and Villanova University — who were selected to be in the program, the only one of its kind in the nation.

Two students and one faculty member from each of the participating schools will participate in three days of intensive classroom work and spend two days installing a 2.58-kilowatt solar array at Ritter House. The array is being provided free of charge by the Sustainable Energy Fund in return for Bucknell hosting the workshop.

Earlier this year, schools submitted proposals to the Sustainable Energy Fund for the design, installation, and monitoring of a student-run solar array on campus and six were selected to be the recipient of a grant to give undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity for hands-on study, training, and research in the application of photovoltaic solar technology as part of an overall academic curriculum in renewable and sustainable energy. See related story.

Bucknell's plan is to use the grant money to outfit one of the modular residence units with solar panels later this fall.

New lighting and a special energy-efficient refrigerator will be installed to make the room as energy efficient as possible. Four students recruited to live in the space will be responsible for transmitting real-time data on energy generation and usage back to a campus website and to the Sustainable Energy Fund.

Posted July 19, 2006

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