Florida A&M University (FAMU) recently reached another milestone in its ongoing efforts toward becoming a leading “green” university with the installation of its first on-campus Solar Dok. As a 2011 and 2012 Princeton Review “Green College,” the Solar Dok signifies FAMU’s ongoing commitment to green innovation.
Located on FAMU’s quadrangle, the Solar Dok is a solar-powered battery recharging station, which allows users to recharge their mobile phones, tablets, laptops and other electronic gadgets while sitting at a picnic table with a solar-paneled umbrella. FAMU is one of only five campuses in Florida, and 21 in the U.S., that have installed a Solar Dok.
The Green Coalition, a student-led organization dedicated to promoting sustainability in the greater FAMU community, spearheaded the initiative, which was funded by a grant from Siemens.
“The installation of a Solar Dok on campus is an interactive way to show students that solar energy is a reality and has concrete applications such as recharging portable devices,” said Olivier Chamel, adviser of the Green Coalition. “As we educate our students to become leaders, it is critical that they are exposed to and understand the role of renewable energy. Overall, it is about raising awareness.”
The Solar Dok installation came to fruition as a result of a 2012 university-wide seminar that united leaders from multiple campus groups with the goal of identifying energy efficiency ventures that would be suitable for FAMU. The Solar Dok was the favored idea, as it capitalized on one of Florida’s most significant and accessible renewable energy sources – solar power.
“It was necessary to show that FAMU wasn’t all talk when it comes to sustainability,” said Anthony Ward, the current vice president of the Green Coalition. “We wanted to step on a greener path for our campus, and after much deliberation from faculty and staff, we felt the Solar Dok was the way to go.”
Founded in 2006, the Green Coalition has collaborated with local government and other university and environmental organizations to address renewable energy, sustainability and climate change.
The partnership with Siemens represents a significant stride in the university’s sustainability efforts, as the company is one of the world’s largest providers of environmental technologies. Nearly 50 percent of the corporation’s total revenue stems from green products and solutions.
Photo: FAMU students enjoy the convenience and speed of the eco-friendly Solar Dok.