Students at UNC-Chapel Hill have awarded $210,000 to help build a “green” Visitor Education Center at the N.C. Botanical Garden. The student-run Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee made the group’s largest award to date to help construct a geothermal well system as part of the center. A $4-per-semester student-approved fee generated the funds.
The Renewable Energy Committee was responsible for the wasteful solar panels that will be on the top of the renovated Morrison dorm. Read about how that project is wasteful here.
According to the N&O,
The geothermal well system will reduce the cost of heating and cooling the 29,000-square-foot Visitor Education Center. Geothermal wells act like a giant heat pump. Water circulates through deeply buried, sealed pipes, taking advantage of the earth’s constant temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit to cool the building in summer and warm it in winter. Experts say the geothermal wells will pay for themselves in less than nine years.
Sounds a lot like the solar panel project. Let’s hope it’s not just another opportunity for UNC to build its “reputation as a ‘progressive’ university.”