Deceased Pella engineer’s donation helps fund renewable energy at state parks

Photo by iamuday, Flickr.

Chris Desjardins’ post-mortem donation to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will help fund green-energy projects at some state parks.

Desjardins was an engineer for Pella Corporation who passed away in 2009.

With the help of the Iowa Economic Development Authority, IJOBS and the Resource Enhancement and Protection Fund, Desjardins’ donation will fund a $1.1 million project that includes renewable energy sources such as wind turbines and geothermal systems.

Read more from the Des Moines Register here.

Iowa Wesleyan College strives for sustainability with geothermal energy

Photo by Peter Nijenhuis, Flickr

By replacing their dated central steam system with a geothermal energy system, Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Pleasant will lower their carbon emissions while saving money.

The Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities reports that the implementation of a geothermal system is well worth its $4.9 million dollar cost in the long run:

“After extensive research and planning, we are ready to implement this comprehensive energy project, which will provide energy efficiency ratings in the mid-90th percentile,” said IWC President Dr. Jay Simmons. The energy efficiency improvements will reduce Iowa Wesleyan’s carbon emissions by more than 1,390,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. That is the equivalent of removal of emissions from more than 117 cars annually, or the planting of more than 186 acres of trees annually, according to the system manufacturer.

“In addition to the significant positive impact this system will have on the environment, it will also provide a huge reduction in expenditures for the College,” Simmons said. Annual energy and operational savings are projected to be more than $400,000 a year. Continue reading

On the Radio: Using Geothermal Energy, West Union Colors Historic Downtown Green

In 2008 West Union was designated a Green Pilot Program by the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Beyond its move to sustainable energy sources, the city has also made streets and sidewalks more pedestrian friendly. Credit: West Union Chamber of Commerce.

 Note: The text in this post has been updated to reflect that West Union has not yet begun to use its district geothermal energy system, but it plans to soon. The audio clip, however, has not been updated. Language in the original post implied that the project had already begun. Construction on the system began last month, according to Robin Bostrom, Executive Director, West Union Chamber of Commerce.

The mistake stemmed from a misinterpretation of language in the report appended below. IEF regrets the error. 

Listen to this week’s radio segment, which details West Union – a 2008 Green Pilot Program – is saving energy while preserving its history. And read about the rest of West Union’s green visionContinue reading