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Sunshine is free, monetize me


We’ve all been there; walking across the parking lot under the blistering sun. Your car, after baking in that heat for hours, might as well be Death Valley in July. The steering wheel can’t be gripped, and the metal of the buckle could be used as a branding iron.

Installing more solar panels on campus parking lots could be beneficial for students who park on campus and continue to help the college’s electricity bill.

Locations such as the Staff Parking Lot near the south gym, the arts building and Parking Lot 6 are an example of how the solar panels can be integrated on campus.

The campus already leads the example in going green, so why not invest in conserving more energy?

In 2003, the school along with the district, launched the Green Power Extensive Program, which reduced the school’s electricity purchases by approximately 30 percent and their costs by $180,000 annually.

According to an article on businesswire.com, the project cost $4.1 million, of which $2 million were based on an offset and municipal rebates.

The parking lot near Shepard Stadium is one of many locations that can benefit solar panels. Shepard Stadium welcomes the community for home games for football and soccer. It provides extra parking for students who are not able to find a parking closer to their classrooms.

In a story The Roundup published in August 2010, the total cost to fund the project was roughly $8.7 million, which was a part of a $6 billion bond that Pierce proposed in November 2009.

Money shouldn’t be an issue because the college receives funds and donations all year long.

An article on renewableenergyworld.com said that the solar panels cover 20,000 square feet. The solar array generates enough power during the day to power 200 homes.            

The article also mentions that emission reductions are equivalent to the planting of 520 acres of trees, not driving 4.5 million miles, or removing nearly 370 cars from the roadways in Los Angeles.

Parking Lot 7 is another location to install solar panels. Rather than cutting down the trees that are already planted, installing separate solar panels down the row can be an option.

Also, students will not have to worry about returning to their hot cars and burned seats, especially on a summer day, because the panels will be there to shade them.

It could also provide shade, especially if he or she has a long way to walk, because they can take a breather.
This school is known for being environmentally friendly. It’s time to take that extra step, and adding more panels will be so beneficial for all students, faculty and staff.