October 21, 2015

Non-Profit Solar Project Raises Over $17,000

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Just a week after its launch, Energizing Impact, a student non-profit solar energy organization, has raised nearly a third of the $60,000 it projects will be necessary to install a 14.3 kW solar energy system and an exhibit in Sciencenter, an Ithaca museum.

Kevin Cellucci ’17, project coordinator, said he was exposed to innovative energy options while working in the alternative energy industry over the summer and said he discussed his idea to adovate sustainable energy in Ithaca with Rachel Geiger ’17.

He said the result, Energizing Impact, represents and effort to increase energy sustainability through a use of solar energy.

Geiger said on campus the project is operated by a marketing team of about 15 students.

According to Amy Gaulke, public and media relations manager at Sciencenter, the funds raised through this campaign will be used for “creating a new exhibition gallery that will empower guests to engage in sustainable practices in their daily lives.”

Gaulke said the exhibition will showcase the benefits of living sustainably using solar energy.

“It will illustrate how technology is able to harness energy from the sun and showcase a historical and real-time display from a viewable photovoltic array on the Sciencenter’s roof,” Gaulke said.

Additionally, the solar energy will benefit the Sciencenter by lowering operating costs and in turn support and allow the Center to expand its “free access programs including free memberships for low-income families,” according to Gaulke.

The Sciencenter frequently collaborates with Everybody Solar, a solar energy non-profit, and depends on the University for project resource, according to Cellucci.

“The money will also be used to help design and build this exhibit which focuses on teaching youth about how alternative energy works and why it is important,” said Cellucci.

According to Cellucci, the “seed funding” for the project comes from Societal Solutions Scholarship, a Cornell program that funds individuals efforts to improve society.

While the capital campaign is the first project launched from Energizing Impact, Cellucci said his team would “love to continue expanding Energizing Impact” by providing sustainable energy to a variety of organizations.

“We have already raised over $17,000 for the project, but we still have a long way to go before reaching our target,” Cellucci said.

The campaign is due to end on Nov. 15.