A renewable energy educational display will be created in the south entry area of Dennis Hall. The interactive display will include information about solar power, wind power, the on-going work of Earlham's Environmental Responsibility Plan, and other relevant environmental issues and activities. As much as possible, the furnishings will be made using LEED's (1) certified materials.
The goal of the Green Zone is to provide people from Earlham and surrounding communities a space where they can observe the workings of renewable energy. It is an area where visitors will be able to visualize how renewable energy can be installed and used in their own homes or businesses. All electrical equipment in the Green Zone will be powered by the solar panels and wind turbine on the roof on bright and windy days. On some days, the Green Zone will take some electricity from the local (Richmond Power and Light) grid. And on some days, it may be sending "green" power into that grid. A 52" x 60" LCD array will be installed for the display of real-time and historical data (meteorological, energy production, energy consumption, ... ) and other educational information. Also included will be a display of hardware for the power collecter and converter, and the grid interconnect.
Solar Power - Coming Fall 2005
There will be two installations of solar panels at Earlham College. The first is the installation of a 3.15 kw (kilowatt), 20 solar panel system. Some of these panels will be positioned on the parapet of the roof so that they are visable from the ground. The others will be on the flat roof where they can be easily and safely viewed. These will be installed during the fall of 2005. The second installation is at Miller Farm south of campus. This is a student residence for approximately 9 students year round who live in an intentional community with a focus on community development and sustainable agriculture. Installation of panels on the south roof of the farm house is planned for the Spring of 2006. Both installations will involve interconnection with the local power grid, so that electrical energy can flow in either direction.
Wind Power Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Coming Spring 2006
This involves installation of a 1kw (kilowatt) wind generator on 30 foot tower on the northeast roof of Dennis Hall, including tie-in to existing electrical hardware from the solar panels. One purpose of this installation is to confirm that wind energy production is feasable in the area, as has been indicated by meteorological studies over the past few years.
We are currently doing wind prospecting on Earlham property south of campus. This involves putting up moveable equipment that measures and records wind speed and direction. The data that is collected, along with the data from the wind generator on the roof of Dennis, will be used by Earlham to determine the feasability of installing a commercial-grade wind farm south of campus.
RP&L (Richmond Power and Light)
This project will provide the first opportunity for RP&L to work out the details of a grid interconnection system. Even though the law mandates that utility companies cooperate with small renewable energy producers, the actual implementation of that cooperation typically is not straightforward. We have already begun discussions with RP&L officials, and expect to move forward in close cooperation with them.