IPSWICH, Mass. — June 22, 2018 — EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) has announced its three 2018 EBSCO Solar Grant Winners. Red Feather Lakes Community Library in Red Feather Lakes, Colorado; Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia; and the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, will each receive $100,000 to pay for the installation of a solar array. The grants offset the cost of installing solar panels and allow libraries to reduce their electricity expenditures.
Red Feather Lakes Community Library is a small library in a Colorado mountain community. The library has become an essential part of the community during previous wild fires and floods. Moving to solar power will allow the library to retain power during natural disasters and provide public information dissemination in disaster situations.
Red Feather Lakes Community Library’s John Parker is a project coordinator and area emergency preparedness volunteer with the North 40 Mountain Alliance. Parker says the library has become the headquarters of the North 40 Mountain Alliance, which provides public information dissemination in disaster situations. “This grant will allow the Red Feather Library, in addition to converting to clean energy, to run full-bore in any disaster or emergency situation, with lights, heat, internet, phones and shelter for our residents when electrical power is out. It will also enable us to provide up-to-date, accurate information that will help people make calm, rational decisions.”
Shepherd University, located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, is eager to make its library into the first building on campus to use net metering to offset an academic building’s energy consumption. The library is involved in several sustainability initiatives on campus and will leverage the grant funds to work with an installation company dedicated to employing and retraining residents affected by the decline in the coal industry.
Collections Coordinator Rachel Hally says the EBSCO Solar Grant will bring opportunities for education across the curriculum at Shepherd University. “Students in environmental science, science education, physics, engineering and more will be able to observe the installation and monitor ongoing electricity generation and consumption offsets. Shepherd’s deep commitment to sustainability will continue to grow with the installation of our solar photovoltaic system on the roof of Scarborough Library.”
The University of the West Indies (UWI) is the first international library to win the EBSCO Solar Grant. Located in Mona, Jamaica, the university has a strong plan to reduce its dependence on electricity made from conventional sources.
The Head of the Science & Engineering Branch Library, Sasekea Harris, says receiving the EBSCO Solar Grant presents an opportunity for developing a “success story” which will have far-reaching and lasting impact on the UWI Mona Campus. “The utilization of this grant will demonstrate an example of the role the Mona Library plays in contributing to the campus’ strategic objectives of sustainable cost reduction and the ‘greening’ of the campus.” The library is also working with its Physics Department and Energy Management Unit on this and other projects to improve infrastructural energy efficiencies.
EBSCO Information Services Founder and CEO Tim Collins says the grants are a great way for EBSCO to make an impact on the environment. “The EBSCO Solar Grants not only help libraries, but they are also part of a larger effort to reduce our collective environmental footprint and demonstrate to local communities the benefits of environmental responsibility. We look forward to seeing the installations at Red Feather Lakes Community Library, Shepherd University and University of the West Indies.”
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