Copper Mountain College Moves Toward Green

    November 23, 2009


    JOSHUA TREE, Ca –Copper Mountain College moves toward green this week with the installation of a new solar parking structure.

    In June of this year the Copper Mountain College Board of Trustees approved an agreement with Chevron Energy Services for a full energy conservation project. The entire project consists of partially covered parking with mounted solar panels, solar trash compactors throughout the campus, as well as replacement of out of date air conditioning and lighting fixtures with more energy efficient ones.

    The signs are noticeable to anyone who drives on the Joshua Tree campus this semester. The most obvious of all is the new solar parking structures that are currently being erected in the main parking lot of the college. While this new project may require students and employees to take a bit more time to get to their classes, the benefits in the end will be worth the extra walk.

    The first step in the process began in August with an optimized lighting system including new technology lower wattage lamps and ballasts. The new occupancy sensors will allow the lights to shut off when the space is unoccupied. Chevron then replaced all out-dated air conditioning equipment with new energy efficient equipment for classrooms and offices.

    Joe Olson, Vice President for Military, Community and Economic Development stated, “as America transforms itself into a green economy; community colleges will become increasingly important. We will need educated technicians whose skills can cross industry lines, and we believe those are community college graduates. Our new projects on campus will allow us to do just that.”
    The campus also installed new solar trash receptacles that are completely self-powered. Instead of requiring a grid connection, the BigBelly uses solar power for 100% of its energy needs. The unit takes up as much space as the "footprint" of an ordinary receptacle—but its capacity is five times greater. Increased capacity reduces collection trips and can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%.

    For more information on this project or for general information regarding Copper Mountain College, visit us at or call 760.366.3791.