Steve Fugate, a renewable energy expert, will save Maharishi University of Management money and protect the environment by managing a project to create biodisel fuel from used vegetable oil from the Argiro Student Center and by developing a plan to use solar energy on campus.
by Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, The Review
Steve Fugate, former director of the Iowa Renewable Energy Association and an expert on biodiesel fuel, recently joined Maharishi University of Management (MUM) staff to manage the campus biodiesel project and to help implement a plan to use massive solar arrays to provide all the electricity on campus.
Mr. Fugate said that biodiesel fuel is a high priority of the campus sustainability initiative, because it both saves money and helps the environment.
The campus project entails taking used vegetable oil from the Argiro Student Center kitchen and from The Raj and turning it into environmentally beneficial transportation fuel used in campus buses and faculty and student automobiles.
"It's not only a community resource development opportunity but also a great teachable moment," Mr. Fugate said. "It shows students we can affect situations we care about, such as reducing imported oil by using a non-petroleum fuel.
He said that such fuel reuses carbon already in the cycle, rather than releasing new carbon into the environment. Each gallon saves about 20 lbs of CO2 from going into the environment.
"I've been involved with biodiesel fuel for nine years and am very passionate about it," Mr. Fugate said.
He is also playing a major role in developing a plan to power all of campus through a massive solar array that would produce from 3–5 megawatts.
"The cost has never been lower, and it's much more doable now thanks to regulatory changes," he said.
He's also involved with the Sustainable Living photovoltaic club, which meets weekly on Wednesdays and focuses on engineering, repair, installation, and operation of photovoltaic panels.
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