Solar panels, wind turbine, tree

Message from the President

We share a global responsibility for our planet. The majority of the world's energy is produced from burning fossil fuels (coal, natural gas and petroleum oil), which releases carbon dioxide. Carbon traps heat, and these emissions may cause the world's climate to change. Additionally, fossil fuels are nonrenewable, natural resources. As more and more countries expand their industrialization, the world's demand for energy will triple by the end of this century. (Power Surge)

Our need to find renewable energy sources and to responsibly develop cleaner, more efficient fossil fuels is urgent, indeed.

Power Surge, a televised NOVA documentary on PBS, demonstrates that we can find a "green" energy solution based on existing technologies, including:

  • Clean Coal Energy
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Solar Energy
  • Bio Energy
  • Energy efficiencies through conservation

The challenges come in making green energy safe, affordable and as a way of life for all of us.

Our quest at Owens, which began with complying with Ohio's House Bill 251 mandate of reducing energy consumption by 20 percent by 2014, has evolved into a commitment to our students and to our community. In 2008, we partnered with Garforth International LLC (Toledo), Owens Corning (Toledo) and MVV Energie (Mannheim, Germany) to conduct a feasibility assessment and to create a strategic energy master plan. In 2010, we secured financing utilizing the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority through a series of bonds for the performance contract with Energy Systems Group (Newburgh, Indiana). The College's investment in energy efficiencies is being realized through Energy Systems Group's campus improvements in lighting, heating, cooling, insulation, roofing, water conservation, the installation of automated demand controls facilitating our utilities and by managing our computer power. To date, the College is on track to reducing its energy consumption by 23 percent, exceeding Ohio's mandate, and we expect to recoup the capital investment in eight years. This is remarkable.

At Owens, "hands-on" means real learning experiences for our students. We've installed photovoltaic arrays and wind turbines to harness solar and wind energy. Not only do they produce electricity for our facilities, but they teach our School of Technology students who are becoming tomorrow's green energy innovators and technicians. According to the federal government, the emerging green marketplace will generate 1.9 million jobs in alternative energy.

I encourage you to become part of the global solution along with us at Owens Community College.

"We believe in serving our students and our communities. Your success is our mission."

"Power Surge." A NOVA production by Hamilton Land & Cattle, Inc., for WGBH-Boston, Public Broadcasting Services, 20 April 2011.

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