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Tech Owls in Action Present City of Wilsonville with Renewable Energy Opportunities

Feb 28, 2014
Oregon Tech’s Tech Owls in Action (TOA), a university club in Wilsonville, held Second Annual Clean Energy “Connecting Our Community” Forum

Tech Owls in Action club
WILSONVILLE, ORE. - Oregon Tech’s Tech Owls in Action (TOA), a university club in Wilsonville, held their Second Annual Clean Energy “Connecting Our Community” Forum last week to great success. This event brought together academia, community members, non-profits, and public and private sectors to discuss and learn about renewable energy and energy conservation.

The event, held on Friday, February 21st at the Wilsonville campus, was designed as a public forum to help local governments, organizations, and businesses implement more renewable energy generation and energy conservation/efficiency projects within the community. Outside speakers included Wilsonville's Mayor, Tim Knapp; Wilsonville Community Development Director, Nancy Kraushaar; and industry professionals from Elemental Energy LLC and Energy 350.

The focus of “Connecting Our Community” was developed to follow-up on last year’s forum, when TOA learned that community members were interested in more solar technologies and energy efficiency measures. TOA and Renewable Energy Engineering students conducted solar assessments and energy use analyses at the local Wilsonville Public Library, as well as identifying potential opportunities for the City of Wilsonville to take action.

Renewable Energy Engineering student Taylor Redding, President of the TOA Club, said, "With our new Oregon Tech campus in Wilsonville, we want to work with the community to find and develop new pathways for our students and our campus to contribute to the continuation of Wilsonville's smart growth. We believe energy education and the development of renewable energy and energy conservation is a key component to this in the years to come."

Items presented included possibilities for installing solar panels on the roof of the city library to generate additional electricity. TOA club member, Jeremy Toews, has been assessing the library's energy use for his senior project and the club has collaborated with Energy Trust of Oregon, Energy 350, and library Director Pat Duke to conduct a basic energy audit of the library to find potential areas for efficiency upgrades and/or conservation measures.

Taylor stated of the event, "TOA came together as a team and we exceeded our own expectations of the event. Feedback from the event suggested that students as well as city representatives and also local community members all left having learned something. Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp's speech was enlightening and inspiring from my perspective as a student seeking future opportunities in the local region and it is encouraging that representatives from the City of Wilsonville are willing to engage with students with respect to developing a sustainable future for its citizens.”

For more information, contact Taylor Redding, TOA Club President, at 503-984-9573; taylor.redding@oit.edu.


About Tech Owls in Action
Tech Owls in Action (TOA) is a team of students at the Oregon Institute of Technology (Wilsonville) who are collaborating with a national non-profit organization called Focus The Nation and other members of their communities to develop and implement practical clean energy solutions.
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