CAFES Expands Outreach with Energy Assistance Program
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 8, 2010) – CAFES at UCM, or the Center for Alternative Fuel and Environmental Systems at the University of Central Missouri, is extending its outreach program to include the Alternative Energy Assistance Program.
According to Scott McKay, director of the center and chair of the department of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics, CAFES will provide assistance to area school districts in developing plans for the installation of solar and wind alternative energy sources while developing curriculum about renewable energy for the K-12 classroom.
“After we have developed a memorandum of understanding with a district that outlines the role of CAFES and the district, we will visit the school district and make an analysis of energy use in the building or buildings selected,” McKay said.
CAFES staff will follow up with recommendations on how alternative sources of energy could be used to augment traditional non-renewable energy sources, focusing on the potential use of wind turbines or solar arrays. Once a plan is developed and approved by the school district, a CAFES associate will assist with fundraising and logistics of the project and oversee the installation.
“We are aware of some grant funding that could be applicable, and we would assist with finding appropriate funding sources for individual projects,” McKay said. “While CAFES is not an energy contractor, we have partnered with preferred providers who can assist with installation.”
While the Alternative Energy Assistance Program has a great benefit in assisting school districts with reducing energy costs, it also will provide participating districts with an education benefit. School districts working with CAFES will become CAFES partners, and students from these schools will be invited to visit the CAFES on the UCM campus, learning about science, technology and the future of alternative energy.
The CAFES alternative energy tours for middle and high school students also are available to all school and community groups by appointment.
“It’s an opportunity for schools who have partnered with CAFES in the Alternative Energy Assistance Program to join the growing number of CAFES partners in the pursuit of a more energy independent and sustainable Missouri,” McKay said.
Located at a teaching and research site located just east of the Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport, the CAFES emerged from the UCM Department of Biochemistry, Chemistry and Physics to facilitate projects concerning alternative energy production, environmental issues and expert consultation. CAFES has forged a relationship with UCM’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development, which assists in the development of relationships with commercial clients for the CAFES and provide assistance with patent and grant applications.