Student teams from Oregon State University, The Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Washington will be competing for the top prize in the first Green Energy Challenge student design competition. The three finalists will present their entries at the annual convention of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in Seattle, on Sept. 12.
The finalists were selected following the first round of judging from seven entries from NECA student chapters around the country. NECA and ELECTRI International – The Foundation for Electrical Construction, Inc. sponsored the Green Energy Challenge. A complete listing of project proposals will be available after the winning project is announced in September.
The Green Energy Challenge invited teams of students studying electrical construction, engineering, design and management to conduct an energy audit of a local K-12 school. Based on their findings, students developed customized proposals for energy retrofits that would improve the schools’ energy efficiency. Teams also designed a new solar PV and/or wind energy system for the facility.
The teams’ energy solutions proposals were evaluated on lighting analysis; transformer/distribution analysis; a solar photovoltaic or wind energy system design; schematic estimate and schedule; financing plan to implement the proposal; LEED certification for Existing Buildings Review; and format/appearance.
Each participating team will receive a $500 prize recognizing their work from Southern Contracting Company, San Marcos, Calif. Southern Contracting will also award each finalist team $1,000, and the grand prize of $5,000 for the winning proposal. Southern Contracting is a long-time supporter of the Foundation and a key contributor to the Foundation’s Talent Initiative program to support students’ interest in a career in the electrical construction industry.
“Southern Contracting is especially pleased to be a part of the Green Energy Challenge since so much our own business is now dealing with solar and renewable energy projects,” said Tim McBride, President and CEO, Southern Contracting. “We hope that students will be inspired to bring the same enthusiasm and creativity to an electrical contracting company one day that they brought to this project.”
Student teams also received financial support and technical guidance from their local NECA chapters and member firms in preparing their submissions.
“The Green Energy Challenge is a true hands-on learning opportunity for the next generation of energy professionals,” said NECA CEO John M. Grau. “Students are now following careers in construction because they see it as a way to make a meaningful difference in their world. I’m pleased we can give them this opportunity, and maybe help some local schools start saving on their own energy costs.”
The winning student proposal will be announced following the team presentations on Sept. 12 in Seattle. A catalog of all entries will be published online with the announcement.
NECA Student Chapters Participating in the 2009 Green Energy Challenge
|NECA Student Chapter
||Sponsoring NECA Chapter
|BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIVERSITY
||Ohio/Michigan Chapter, NECA
|IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
||Iowa Chapter, NECA
|OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY
||Oregon-Columbia and Oregon-Pacific-Cascade Chapters, NECA
|PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
||Penn-Del-Jersey Chapter, NECA
||Central Indiana Chapter, NECA
|UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
||Puget Sound Chapter, NECA
|UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
||Wisconsin Chapter, NECA