The First (Almost) Totally Sustainable College

East Los Angeles College is the first university to become totally sustainable. Well, mostly sustainable. Okay, sustainable during the day…

The Solar Energy Project at ELAC is a photovoltaic “farm” that will produce one megawatt of electricity, which is currently a little less than the school needs to energize it’s daytime activities. But worry not; school officials, realizing the nighttime is indeed the right time, plan on getting the rest of the necessary energy by converting water into oxygen and hydrogen, then using hydrogen to power fuel cells. That’s some serious nightlife. All for the low low price of 9 million dollars.

Better yet, the school is one of nine community colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, all of which are slated to be “off-the-grid” in the near future. The district is going big-time green. Not just solar farms, but a Sustainable Development Curriculum where kids can use modern day green advances as their practical learning tools while watching every new building in the district being built up to LEED certification. With 2.2 billion dollars of voter-propositioned money, that’s a lot of green buildings.

Kudos to the forward thinking community who voted on making the project not just innovative and imaginative, but also possible. Imagine, living off nothing but the energy a community can create. Imagine getting back exactly what it puts out. Imagine sustainability.

Is it me, or does this sound as much like “Imagine” as it does “Instant Karma”?



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