Solar, Wind Projects in Walla Walla, Yakima Receive Funding - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Solar, Wind Projects in Walla Walla, Yakima Receive Funding

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YAKIMA, Wash.--Thanks to the help of Pacific Power, Yakima Valley Community College is going "green."

A 30-kilowatt solar panel and monitoring system will make YVCC more sustainable. The panel will be installed on the Glen Anthon Arts and Science building sometime in May.

Monitoring systems will also be put in the lobby so students and community members can get a sense of how solar energy works.

The total project cost over $120,000, but with the help of a big grant from Pacific Power the college won't be shouldering that cost alone. Pacific Power's Blue Sky Renewable Energy program contributed over $97,000.

"Every year we try to look at what we can do," said Teresa Holland, the Vice President for Administrative Services at YVCC. "Of course, everything requires funding, and sometimes it's a challenge for us to find funding. So little steps, and with Pacific Power this is a huge step that we can take."

Holland said one of YVCC's primary goals is to reduce their carbon footprint and make the college more cost-effective.

This is the seventh year for Pacific Power's Blue Sky program, but it's the first Blue Sky project in Yakima. - Solar and wind projects at community colleges in Yakima and Walla Walla are one step closer to building a renewable energy future after receiving funding from Pacific Power's Blue Sky.

Blue Sky is donating up to $119,476 in 2013 to the projects at Walla Walla Community College and Yakima Community College.

The projects include two wind-turbines for Walla Walla Community College's Renewable Energy Park. The wind turbines will be used to educate the community about distributed wind and provide hands-on training to students in the college's Energy Systems Training program, which prepares students to work in the region's growing wind energy sector.

The project also includes the installation of a 30-kilowatt solar array and monitoring system at Yakima Valley Community College's Glen Anthon Arts & Science building. Teachers say they plan to incorporate this renewable energy project into their curriculum.