APUS generating 480,000 KW hours/year, highest number of vehicle re-charging stations
by Mike Smith, Washington, DC Energy Blogger*
Representative Shelley Moore Capito helped American Public University System (NASDAQ: APEI) inaugurate the state’s largest solar energy building project by calling it a “phenomenal achievement.” At today’s ribbon cutting in Charles Town, one day after Earth Day, the message in Rep. Capito’s district was about investing in the future.
“West Virginia is an energy state,” said Rep. Capito. “But now we will be a solar state,” she said thanking APUS President and CEO Dr. Wallace Boston for the investment. “Thank you for your commitment, the capital investment, and your reducing our carbon footprint.” She stated that the “permanence of energy creation is part of the heart and soul of West Virginia.”
She added: “APUS has given us all a slice of where corporate responsibility should be and it is nice to see a circle of life” in Charles Town where jobs and economic development are critical.
Mayor David Hammill, who has served 26 years as mayor of Ranson, WV where the solar array is situated, also talked about continuity and sustainability. “American Public University System has built a sustainable energy program that will last for generations to come,” he told me. “It is about the future. APUS also engineered this project on an existing site using some framework we had in place,” he added. “I cannot wait to see more energy advancements.”
Dr. Wally Boston said the solar array is testimony to the “American spirit of innovation and achievement. Today we celebrate progress and not just relying on the status quo.” He stressed that the installation used all American-made parts from film substrate to frames. With 20 facilities in Charles Town, including a new Financial Center that is being considered for Gold LEED certification, APUS stressed a long-term commitment to sustainability and clean energy.
APUS is also meeting standards of the US Green Buildings Council. Dr. Boston has joined the American College and University Presidents Climate Change Committee. APUS has an ongoing sustainability committee internally which provided figures that offices on the campus have saved up to 15% of energy costs this year and large open areas of the buildings are now lowering consumption by 28%.
Colin Williams, VP of Marketing for MTV (Mountain View) Solar of Berkeley Springs, WV, and lead solar installation management firm for APUS, said installing 1600 panels is “our record number” as a solar firm. “Not only is the array the largest in the state but we have the largest gathering of 15 electric vehicle charging stations.” APUS has two electric vans used for employee transportation now. The array will generate 6575 kilowatt hours of electricity per work week. APUS is environmentally and eco-friendly via virtual learning itself, with no commute to a physical campus.
“We are also teaching our students environmental responsibility,” said Dr. Boston. APUS cited the content of courses in the environmental studies major directed by Dr. Carol Pollio as educating next generation environmentalists. http://www.amu.apus.edu/academic/programs/degree/1500/bachelor-of-science-in-environmental-science
It is a rigorous course of study with 33 core course requirements, 12 degree concentration classes, plus general education and electives to round-out the bachelor’s degree. www.apus.edu
*Editor's Note: Mike Smith blogs for Energy Central and the Huffington Post. His firm MSBD, Inc. (www.msbdinc.com) also provides strategic marketing counsel to APUS