While Wes students were pushing for President Roth to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment, Middletown was one-upping us by pushing for a radical solution to rising energy consumption: the installation of a 200-kilowatt fuel cell at Middletown High School. The Hartford Courant reports:
By next fall, Middletown High School will be powered by fuel cell technology thanks to an $800,000 state grant to cover the costs of installation.
The fuel cell will generate electricity, heat the swimming pool and ultimately save taxpayers money, according to school and state officials. Gov. M. Jodi Rell said about $800,000 in state funds will go toward the project.
“Middletown, in 2005, was one of the first municipalities in Connecticut to commit to a clean energy campaign,” Gov. M. Jodi Rell said. “We are pleased to help Middletown move forward with this installation project.
The Middletown Press reports that the town is getting the electricity savings on the cheap, as well:
The project will cost a total of $1.6 million. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund contributed $940,000. Additional grants of $1.7 million bring the city’s cost for the project to about $14,096, Jackson said.
The 20% of MHS’s energy that will be provided by the fuel cell will save the city money and reduce its dependence on the pollution-generating power grid at the same time.
Clearly, saving money and saving the environment can go hand in hand. And with concern over carbon emissions and global climate change mounting at the same time as Wesleyan’s efforts to reduce the financial burden for students, might not it make sense to look at implementing infrastructural changes at Wesleyan, to both save money and save the environment?
So what can Wesleyan do to achieve those ends? What are your ideas?