Going green in West Virginia

By Chuck Terrell and Morgan Branson

A college makes a commitment to renewable energy and sustainability

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College is located in the heart of the Potomac Highlands in wild and wonderful Moorefield, West Virginia. Founded in 1999, Eastern recognized its role as a community leader in not only education, but within the local economy, tourism, and sustainability and renewable energy. Eastern’s college colors are green and white – green is known to symbolize nature and the natural world, and white is known to symbolize purity and cleanliness.

In 2010, Eastern established its wind energy technology program to support regional wind turbine locations. This initial dedication to green energy has been accompanied by an aggressive renewable energy plan at Eastern within the past three years. Within that time frame, Eastern has implemented:

  • LED lighting for Eastern’s Technology Center, replacing all fluorescent light fixtures
  • LED lighting for main campus areas
  • LED lighting for main campus parking lot
  • Solar canopy installed, with four electric vehicle charging stations later installed
  • Solar parking lights installed in new parking lot
  • Permeable pavers installed in newly developed student parking lot and existing employee parking lot to reduce water runoff
  • Permeable paving installed for a new outdoor student/employee patio to reduce water runoff
  • Solar accent lights installed on main campus entrance access road
  • Solar flood lights installed to highlight campus signage and other campus projects
  • Acquisition of a Ford Mustang Mach-E electric car for campus fleet in partnership with Weimer Ford to highlight Eastern’s Automotive Technology program and commitment to green energy

Also located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed area, Eastern identifies the importance of being committed to not only keeping its service district and surrounding areas wild and wonderful, but the overarching impact of the college’s activities on the environment. The Chesapeake Bay faces serious problems due to human activities, including polluted stormwater runoff, over-fertilization and pollution from animal wastes, deforestation, wetland destruction from agricultural, urban and suburban development, and sea level rise caused by global climate change.

Not only do green energy efforts positively impact the environment, but they also result in cost-saving measures. Since implementing the various solar energy projects across campus and installing LED lighting, Eastern has seen an estimated 20% decrease in cost in electricity.

Eastern’s newest program of study is the biological and environmental technology (BET) program, which provides a technical education at the Associate in Applied Science level. Through instruction and practical application, students who are passionate about sustainable practices and stewardship of the land gain knowledge and skills required of the biological and environmental technician. The BET program was developed in partnership with industry leaders and employers to meet the demand for highly skilled biological and environmental technicians.

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College hopes that other higher education institutions will join the commitment to renewable energy and sustainability to help combat climate change and preserve the planet for future generations.

How is your college going green? Sound off at LinkedIn.

 

Chuck Terrell

is president of Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Moorefield, WV.

Morgan Branson

is the public relations manager at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College in Moorefield, WV.

Add New Comment