College students use spring break to help North State families

Mar 20, 2015 1:42 PM by News Staff

A group of six engineering students from the University of Nevada, Reno have spent their spring break in Chico installing solar panels for low income families.

The six women are part of the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) group at UNR, and chose to spend their week off getting hands-on with solar technology as a part of GRID Alternatives' national Solar Spring Break program.

The UNR group has installed nearly 40 solar panels on two Chico houses this week.

The solar electric systems the students installed this week are expected to reduce the families' electricity bills by 75-90 percent, saving the families more than $65,000 each over its 30-year lifespans while preventing a 201 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. That is equivalent planting 4,732 trees.

"It sounded like a fun way to spend spring break, instead of doing nothing like I basically did over winter break," said Jamie Poston, a freshman engineering student at UNR. "I wanted to get out because, I'm learning a lot about the theory of how electricity works in class and this is how it all comes together in the real-world."


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