Copper Mountain College Goes Green

    June 30, 2010


     

     Copper Mountain College Goes Green

     JOSHUA TREE, Ca – Copper Mountain College goes green to save dollars…with solar energy.  In keeping with its Facilities Master Plan and the Measure C Bond funded projects, Copper Mountain College has begun producing a significant amount of its own electricity needs.  On Tuesday morning officials from Chevron Energy Solutions and Baker Technology Services Group were on hand to flip the switch allowing the 1078 solar panels to begin producing energy for the College.  The 250 kW solar covered parking area is designed to provide nearly 30% of the College’s electrical needs.  The original solar field design was scrapped in 2008 in favor of the solar covered parking over existing paved parking areas preserving the desert landscape and providing covered parking for students and employees.  Chief of Campus Facilities, Dan Cain, says “the project not only saves money it benefits the environment”. 

    This all comes at a time when education is seeing unprecedented losses in funding and the College is looking for ways to save money and create new training opportunities for students.  The College was recently awarded a $50,000 partnership grant with College of the Canyons Alternative Energy Training Institute.  The Department of Energy grant will allow Copper Mountain College to formally begin the development of curriculum for a local certificate in solar energy.  Vice President of Academic Affairs, Cheryl Munsey says that “This is a great opportunity for not only our students, but for the Morongo Basin as a whole.  We have always viewed our campus as an institution that will lead the way in protecting our desert environment.  This is a step in the right direction.”

    The College hopes that in the future it can expand its solar project to meet 100% of its energy needs.  In addition to the solar covered parking the College is in the permitting stage of installing a small service wind turbine.  The wind turbine is small in scale and while it will generate electricity, its principle role will be as a learning lab for students.