GrOW has been working with SunBug Solar, Boston Solar Company, and Borrego Solar to come up with a few options for a solar carport system in parking lot A. Boston Solar already has a rough proposal which can be viewed in the public GrOW folder under the name “Olin Proposal 1/10/14.” Boston Solar’s current design would only provide about 9% of Olin’s annual electrical consumption, but that’s not a very trivial number when you consider the $1,689,797 total savings and 10,019,154 lbs reduced greenhouse gas emissions over 20 years. We’ve been talking to them lately about improving the design and increasing the system output, so more updates on that next month! SunBug and Borrego aren’t as far in the process of making proposals. Both companies are still exchanging info with us, and are probably still a bit skeptical of GrOW’s sincerity in making the project happen. But let it be known that we are very sincere, and we intend for this to happen.
It recently dawned on me that sustainability really isn’t a priority here at Olin, and President Miller told me that for anything like a solar installation to pass, we need student support. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the weather throughout the US (and other parts of the world too) has been pretty scary lately. Wet getting wetter, dry getting drier, and the polar vortex leaking into southern states has, sadly, proven a lot of environmentalist doomsayers correct. California, one of the most important agricultural centers of the US, recently declared a state of emergency during the most severe drought in the states recorded history. Rainfall in the Southeast in 2013 was the second wettest year recorded so far. Outside the US, Australia is among the scariest; The dry, hot weather is providing a perfect climate for massive forest fires, which are apparently so bad they create clouds that somehow produce lightning that starts even more fires (google it!). Climate change is happening, buddy, and as a student of Olin, I hope you’d want to help out in whatever ways you can. So watch out for more updates on how you can support the Solar at Olin initiative!
Have stuff you don’t want? Want to get stuff you do want? GrOW is going to be hosting a Swap Shop, where you can trade your unwanted stuff for stuff that you want! By sharing what we already have, we don’t need to buy more things, and everybody ends up with more space and more money! Keep an eye on your email for more details soon!