Solar Power to Brew Coffee in Virginia
The Dominion Foundation, has awarded a $30,000 grant to Virginia Highlands Community College for the development of “Wolf Grounds,” an on-campus, student-run coffee shop. The non-profit business will involve 100 percent organically grown and recyclable products, local suppliers, Energy Star appliances, and both solar hot-water heating and solar photovoltaic technologies. The coffee shop project will serve as a student learning tool.“Dominion’s grant will allow our students to experience first-hand theprocess of opening and operating a business within the security ofcollege supervision,” said Virginia Highlands President Ron Proffitt.“This is an outstanding opportunity for our students, and we aregrateful to Dominion for their support of the college, our students andthis project.”
Besides providing experience to businessstudents in running a self-sustaining business, the project also willprovide a hands-on learning opportunity to students in solar energysystem design, equipment installation, and system maintenance andrepair. “Dominion is excited about supporting this hands-on learningproject and particularly because of its emphasis on energy conservation, efficiency and alternative energy generation,” said Preston Sloane,station director for the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. The powerstation is being built in nearby Wise County, about 30 miles from thecampus, by Dominion Virginia Power, a subsidiary of Dominion Resources.
The coffee shop, which is scheduled to open inApril, will be managed by the campus organization Students in FreeEnterprise. Roughly half the students involved in the project’sdevelopment will continue their involvement in the shop’s operation. For example, information technology students will continue to maintain theshop’s Web page and produce brochures, marketing students will promotethe business and accounting students will manage the books. Dominion isone of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominionoperates the nation’s largest natural gas storage system and servesretail energy customers in 13 states. The Dominion Foundation is its’philanthropic arm.
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