Solar power may come to ARC following $3 million donation from DC Solar


Don Reid, who represents the Sustainability at ARC project, talks about upcoming sustainability projects happening on campus at the Associated Student Body Joint Budget Committee meeting Thursday. Reid gave his presentation updating projects in the work such as the already installed water refill stations as well as future plans including installation of solar panels. (Photo by Robert Hansen)

Robert Hansen

Don Reid, a representative for the Sustainability at ARC project at American River College, updated the Associated Student Body Joint Budget Committee (JBC) on the progress of green effort projects taking place on campus at Thursday’s JBC meeting.

A possible upcoming project would be after a donation of solar trailers from DC Solar, a company that specializes in solar-powered mobile generators, light towers, telecommunications equipment, and specialty electric vehicle charging stations.

“They are $150,000 units and (DC Solar is) looking at giving us about 20,” Reid said. “So that’s (a) $3 million donation toward putting solar panels on the ground at our campus.”

The solar trailers are about the length and width of a parking space and on Sustainability at ARC’s Facebook page, there is a video clip of these trailers being installed at Mills College in Oakland.

“They come configured as LED towers,” Reid said. “We’re talking about putting eight to 10 out in that area (soccer field).”

These solar trailers also come configured as car charging stations or with three benches with outlets for students to charge their devices.

Legalities of the project have yet to be worked out, according to Reid.

“This is a project that obviously has got a lot of implications for the campus and so we’re working right now with the legal department at district office,” Reid said. “There’s been a lot of back and forth.”

Reid also discussed the Upcycle project and the water bottle refill station project.

The Upcycle project took the old recycle bins and renovated the panels with artwork by ARC students.

The winning artwork for ARC's ‪#‎UPcycle‬ ‪#‎REcycle‬ bin project brought at the Associated Student Body Joint Budget Committee meeting on April 28, 2016. The Upcycle project has renovated the old recycle bins. (Photo by Robert Hansen)
The winning artwork for ARC’s ‪#‎UPcycle‬ ‪#‎REcycle‬ bin project brought was brought to the Associated Student Body Joint Budget Committee meeting Thursday. The Upcycle project has renovated the old recycle bins to feature artwork made by ARC students. (Photo by Robert Hansen)

The garbage cans displaced by the new recycle bins went the art department and came back “looking amazing,” Reid said.

“They’ve been really well received,” Reid said. “This project’s got a lot of love, that’s for sure.”

One of the newly decorated recycle bins can be found by the Center for Leadership and Development and another in the quad in front of the bookstore.

Reid also gave an update on the water bottle refill stations, which can be found in Davies Hall, the Kinesiology & Athletics building, and the Administration building.

According to Reid, six water stations were completed in phase one over spring break.

This came about from an award of money from the ASB, who put $20,000 toward installing the stations.

So far, the water bottle refill stations have saved well over 12,000 plastic bottles as of April 28, according to Sustainability at ARC’s Facebook page.

Reid hopes to do a six month update on filtered water bottle refill stations and how many plastic bottles they have saved.

Reid said that coordinating teams of plumbers, electricians and construction from different facilities is difficult and that during “down time” is when more stations will be installed.

“In between projects is when they’ve slated us to have those,” Reid said. “I haven’t gotten any update as to how soon …  but I’m imagining it will be over the next break that we’ve got coming up.”

Although Reid has no official date, phase two of the water bottle refill station will bring the total to 12 water refill stations.

“I want things done now and I have to remember to be patient,” Reid said.

The JBC also passed a campus solar resolution and a bill to help restore the lactation room at its meeting last week.

The JBC’s solar power resolution urges ARC’s administration at a minimum to include solar panels in the plans for the new building planned to replace the Liberal Arts building.

Residential savings for solar power estimated at $34,260 over 20 years and that ARC’s savings would likely be much greater.

The lactation room bill gives $2,000 towards the restoration and improvement of the campus lactation room.

The bill claims that the space is being used as an off-hand storage area.

Currently, the campus lactation room is unkempt and is neither restful nor appropriate for feeding or pumping, according to the bill.

The bill goes on to state that lactation rooms should be conducive to the purpose for which they serve and suitable to parent and infant needs.