Student Power to Fund Renewable Energy: A New Take on the Solar PPA
July 10 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDTFree
As campuses look to expand on site renewable energy generation, one of the greatest barriers to implementation is often initial project funding. Over the last year and a half, students at Southern Oregon University have worked to develop an innovative new approach to funding solar. Inspired by the power purchase agreement model, the SOU student government has established a similar agreement with the university itself to fund new solar panels on campus, where students pay for the installation of solar and the university buys the power from the students. The “Solar PPA” both increases the amount of renewable energy used on campus and provides revenue that is allocated towards the development of new sustainability-related projects through reinvestment in the student Green Fund. This session will discuss the strategies employed by student government to make this project a reality, and how it can be replicated or adapted to other colleges and universities. In addressing challenges and successes, presenters will provide insight from the perspective of both students and professional staff.
Roxane Beigel-Coryell, Sustainability & Recycling Coordinator, Southern Oregon University
Roxane Beigel-Coryell was hired as Southern Oregon University’s first sustainability coordinator in 2012. During her time at the institution she has coordinated efforts to increase waste diversion and reduce the university’s carbon footprint. Some of the most noteworthy programs implemented during Roxane’s tenure include a 1% tax on air travel that supports the Climate Action Fund, a 532% increase in on site solar generation, and recognition of the university as an Honorable Mention in Second Nature’s Climate Leadership Awards.