Renewable Energy Group Educates Community for a “Greener” Pennsylvania

Byline: by Ashley Wetzel

Posted: January 15, 2012

On Mon, Aug. 15, Wilson College’s Fulton Center for Sustainable Living hosted the first meeting of the Franklin Renewable Energy Group (FRE).

The Franklin Renewable Energy Group's mission

The FRE is a new group dedicated to educating the public about renewable energy. During the meeting, the FRE provided information on renewable energy production, energy efficiency, and sustainable living. The group hopes to bring further educational opportunities to those who wish to know more about solar, wind, and other forms of renewable energy. The FRE plans to hold monthly meetings, educational seminars, energy workshops and trips to renewable energy events.

Wilson College also hosted the second meeting on Mon, Sept. 12 at 7:00pm at Allen Auditorium in Warfield. During the meeting, Chris Byers, of Advanced Solar Industries (ASI), presented a class on solar energy and law. The class covered the legal parameters of solar energy and the laws preventing further growth in renewable energy. The meeting also focused on the “House Bill 1580” that could mean a greener Pennsylvania. This bill would allow for more of Pennsylvania’s energy to be fed by solar energy. The current goal for the FRE is to help facilitate the passing of HB 1580 through outreach to local legislative offices and public officials.

"When asked about the group’s overall mission," Byers commented, “Our group is still very young. Our mission is not perfectly clear yet, but nothing ever started without a first step.”

The FRE is attending the Pennsylvania Renewable Energy Festival in Kempton, Pa. over the weekend. The Pennsylvania Renewable Energy Festival is a three-day festival about renewable energy, natural building construction, sustainable agriculture, alternative transportation options, land-use planning forestry and healthier living.

Ride Solar raises funds for Haiti

The group is also attending the “Ride Solar” event in Lancaster, Pa. on Sat, Sept. 17. This event was organized by ASI. The event offers a choice of 15, 33 and 63 mile bike rides benefiting a community in Haiti still affected by the earthquake of 2010. All funds generated by the ride will go towards the rebuilding of the community and the addition of solar power. This event gives students from Messiah College the opportunity to carry out the installation process in Haiti.

The FRE also plans to attend the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon judging in Washington, D.C. The decathlon challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The judging will take place from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2 and is open to the public during specified hours.

Chevy Volt comes to campus for demonstration

The third meeting of the FRE is set to take place at Wilson on Mon, Oct. 10 at 6:00pm. The next meeting will feature a demo of the new electric car, the Chevy Volt. A local Chevy dealer will be bringing a Chevy Volt to campus for group members to test-drive on campus. Following the demo, FRE’s monthly meeting will begin at 7:00pm in Allen Auditorium. The next meeting is set to discuss the security of our national power grid and our vulnerability to terrorism..

Last Updated: March 5, 2012

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