Green energy expo set for Saturday at UF

April 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Being conducted by the Alachua Clean Air task force, the free expo will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house at 13 Fraternity Row.

Beta Theta Pi is hosting the expo due to its recent transformation to solar energy prompted by UF student and Beta Theta Pi member Stuart Block and his passion for energy efficiency.

“The main goal of the expo is to educate,” said Block, who led the push to have the solar array installed on the roof of the fraternity. As an intern for Clean Energy Logistics Lab, Stuart continues to help others learn about solar.

“We want the city of Gainesville to be aware of the steps to going solar,” explained Block. “It’s not common knowledge. That’s one of the biggest barriers. We also want people to learn more about the different ways to finance energy investment.”

The expo will feature a hands-on demonstration of a state-of-the-art solar electric and hot water training system, presented by Santa Fe College, which simulates actual installed solar electric and hot water systems.

Presentations include “Financing Return on Investment” concepts, offered by Don Davis, president of Capital City Bank of Gainesville; “Efficiency As the First Step to Going Solar,” presented by energy efficiency and weatherization specialist Kevin Veach, owner of Green Energy Options; “Solar Electric Hot Water” simulation, presented by Santa Fe College; and “Basics of Solar Energy,” presented by Block.

Block said the expo is especially timely “because recent development in the solar industry has brought down the cost. Many utility companies have rebate programs that will offset the initial cost. The federal government will give you a tax credit of 30 percent of the total solar cost. Invest in solar now when the energy is more affordable.”

Block said Gainesville is the perfect place to advocate solar energy and the green movement through expos.

“Gainesville is by far the green capital of the Southeast,” he said. “We want to live in an environment that isn’t going to hurt us. We want to breathe clean air and be able to drink the water. We’re definitely looking to do more of these.”

While Saturday’s expo is free and open to the public, attendees are asked to RSVP or register, as space is limited. Details about the expo are available at www.SolarizeGators.com.

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