Adoption of Alternative Energy Sources in Chico, CA: Facilitating an Action Plan

EPA Grant Number: SU831882
Title: Adoption of Alternative Energy Sources in Chico, CA: Facilitating an Action Plan
Investigators: Stemen, Mark , Wermuth, Laurie
Current Investigators: Stemen, Mark , Aldrich, Ryan , Fricke, Emily , Galiger, Erin , Gillick, Devan , Goggin, Gilliam , Huffman, Joseph , Kilby, Richard , Maas, Michelle , Martinez, Gabriel , Schwalm, Rebecca , Skillman, Brian , Stach, Kevin , Teague, Stephanie , Vigallon, Amy , Wermuth, Laurie
Institution: California State University - Chico
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2004 through September 29, 2005
Project Amount: $9,455
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


1). Technical Challenge: Burning fossil fuels for energy has begun to affect the planet’s climate and society must begin the transition to renewable forms of energy. While renewable energy has been an “off-the-shelf” technology, few companies have explored the option because they were unaware of their options and did not know where to start. Conversely, renewable energy consultants are hesitant to provide a thorough feasibility analysis without the prospect of return. Finally, students often graduate without real world examples to provide them with the knowledge and inspiration that they can effect positive environmental change.

2). Innovative Design Approach: Chico, California is a prime site for conversion to solar power, as it is one of the sunniest municipalities in the country, on par with Phoenix, Arizona. The project proposed will be one piece of a larger effort to move the Chico area towards solar and other renewable energy sources. The North Valley Renewable Energy Group is a new and growing non-profit partnership between California State University, Chico (CSU, Chico), community and government agencies, businesses, and activists in the Chico area. The goal is to develop solar power locally, and to facilitate transition to solar and other renewable energy sources as expeditiously as possible. By working together, all parties hope to facilitate progress towards renewable, more environmentally sensitive sources of energy in our community.

3). P3 Concepts as an Educational Tool: Students will also incorporate what they learn into their course work as a “service-learning” project, enriching their academic work and their potential as “agents of change.”

4). Evaluation: Results will be evaluated by documenting the number of firms who undertake renewable energy projects following the Charrette, and calculating the amount of carbon production avoided/reduced.

5). Challenges to People, Prosperity, and the Planet: This project proposes to pair students with renewable energy consultants and local businesses to develop a portfolio of renewable energy options that can reduce carbon production and save money. The students will present their findings as a public Charrette.

Supplemental Keywords:

community-based, cost-benefit, socio-economic, conservation, renewable energy, solar energy, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, waste reduction, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Ecology and Ecosystems, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, sustainable development, waste minimization, environmental sustainability, conservation, community based, energy efficiency, energy technology, engineering, solar energy, alternative energy source, resource recovery, renewable resource

Relevant Websites:

Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report