What provides Wi-Fi connectivity, security, shelter, lighting, seating, and uses net-zero energy? A new Solar Secure station now installed on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus. UT is the first university in the country to house a Solar Secure SunStation. The structure was unveiled on July 12 outside Perkins Hall on the Hill.
About 40 percent of energy in the US is produced by coal. Yet this power leaves behind the largest carbon footprint. A professor in the College of Engineering has received funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to help change that. Professor Peter Liaw and colleagues have received a $300,000 Clean Coal Research Award for Improved Structural Materials.
The ‘dog days’ of summer are upon us, which means it is peak energy use time on campus. From June 1 through September 30, UT will pay significantly more for energy used on weekdays between the hours of 2:00 and 8:30 p.m. Faculty and staff should make every effort to limit their energy use during the peak times.
A campus community cleanup is scheduled for Sunday, April 22, when Earth Day is celebrated globally. UT’s Knoxville and agricultural campuses and the Fort Sanders neighborhood will get a spa treatment from the Campus Beautification Committee, Keep Knoxville Beautiful, Team VOLS, Rec Sports, and the Office of Sustainability.
The campus’s Earth Month celebrations continue Friday, April 20, with the Environmental Leadership Awards and other festivities at Circle Park. The community is invited to enjoy the Recycled Art Competition, a cookout hosted by Students Promoting Environmental Action in Knoxville (SPEAK), free bike tune-ups and more. The fun begins at 10:00 a.m.
As part of the campus’s Earth Month celebration, the Office of Sustainability will host a tour of the New Norris House on Tuesday, April 24. Space is limited, and those interested in joining the tour must reserve a spot online. The New Norris House is an award-winning, LEED-certified project designed and built by students and faculty from the College of Architecture and Design.
In celebration of Earth Month, an outdoor screening of the movie “Wall-E” will take place at 8:00 p.m., Thursday, April 19, at the Humanities Plaza outdoor amphitheater. This all-ages event combines the beloved past time of drive-in movie theaters with a cleaner, more environmentally friendly vehicle: the bicycle. Walkers are welcome, too.
UT’s Community Action Committee is hosting an hour-long weatherization workshop at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, as part of ongoing Earth Month celebrations. UT alumnus and AmeriCorps member John McCollum will discuss some simple and easily applied solutions that can reduce home energy consumption and cost and provide health and environmental benefits.
UT Knoxville received the Presidential Award for making the largest purchase of green power from the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2011. The university purchased nine megawatt hours of green power from TVA last year. That is the equivalent of eliminating the yearly greenhouse gas emissions from 1,535 passenger vehicles, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency.
More than twenty environmental organizations from UT and the surrounding community will showcase their work at the Go Green Fair at from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, on the Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Mall. The fair is part of the campus’s Earth Month celebration.