First Name: Eboni
Last Name: Hawkins
Net ID: ehawki3
Project Title: RetroSolar
As a university-wide collaboration, RetroSolar would take several years to complete. Two concrete steps in its execution would be raising public awareness and support for the retrofits and the installation of solar powered charging stations as an example of student amenities once at least one retrofit was completed.
UIC is poised to be a leader among universities in the generation of solar power. The successful completion of Lincoln Hall as a solar-powered addition to the campus establishes visible and viable inspiration for the retrofit of existing campus buildings. Locating additional renewable energy sources can also:
- Increase the University’s STARS rating in Operations, its worst performing area and fulfill one of its recommended improvements
- Incorporate the research of two UIC-related projects, a solar cell and a solar panel film.
One approach to advancing a pro-solar campaign would be to establish models of solar activity through campus such as charging stations for phones, tablets, and laptops. This is a passive engagement activity that could also act as an educational supplement for courses in Environmental Sciences and Engineering.
Preliminary Project Budget:
Estimated cost for a small public relations campaign to increase university-wide support for the overall RetroSolar plan would cost approximately $1,000 for printing and promotional event related costs. Solar Charging Stations can range from $3,000 (for stand alone products like the Soofa) or up to $60,000 for integrated systems like those available at UT-Austin.
Additional funding for a university-wide implementation of solar can come from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation which offers three different programs for which UIC could be eligible: Net Zero Energy Building, Advancing Renewable Energy, and Solar Thermal. The City of Chicago also offers an expedited permitting and zoning process for solar projects which could result in thousands of dollars in savings for each retrofit.