SU’s solar farm project informational session focuses on PA

By Michael Bernaschina, Staff Writer 

Earlier this week, a representative from WGL Energy visited campus to give a seminar to students and faculty on renewable energy.

Richard E. Walsh, the Program Lead of Clean Energy Solutions at WGL Energy led the seminar, where he spoke about the company, case studies of theirs, their market size, policies, and career opportunities.

WGL Energy specializes in delivering environmentally-friendly energy solutions to residential, government, commercial, and industrial customers, according to their website.

The company also has assets in 19 different states, and counts companies like Amazon, Volvo, Macy’s, Perdue, and National Geographic as their customers.

One topic of discussion during the seminar was the transition between natural resources and clean energy that the nation is currently seeing. Walsh highlighted four main reasons behind this, the first being the decline in natural resources.

“If you look at the declining resources,” he said, regarding coal specifically, “No matter what your position is, there’s no denying that it’s a finite resource. Solar and wind are infinite resources.”

The other three reasons mentioned were radical transparency, personalization, and increased expectations.

“Because of that decline in resources, red flags have been raised, and now you’re starting to see stakeholders with increased expectations,” he said.

“As it becomes more obvious that not only are there bad things that can happen because of climate change, but also the positives that can come from clean energy – that the costs continue to go down, and the demand continues to go up,” he added. “There are proven case studies of all types of organizations that show the benefits of clean energy, with jobs and economics.”

Walsh then discussed career opportunities within the field, which were divided into six different fields, finance; business management, strategy, and communications; government, policy, and legal; engineering and construction, components, and development.

The financial area deals with investing, taxes, accounting, lending, private equity, and venture capital. Business Management, Strategy, and Communications, deal with strategy consulting, energy procurement, sustainability management, advertising, and marketing.

Government, Policy, Legal employees deal with lobbying, public service, trade, advocacy groups, and other things, while engineering and construction involves working with solar : engineering, procurement, and construction, wind: engineering, procurement, and construction, and design. The components area works with panels, turbines, inverters, and racking. This area is where engineers would be employed.

In the development area, employees work with GreenField Solar, Greenfield Wind, in on-site, offshore, and residential areas.

During the seminar, Walsh addressed one of WGL Energy’s case studies, which was conducted at UMD College park.

According to Walsh, WGL Energy provides wind REC’s and electricity to the university as a part of their retail supply contract. WGL Energy also owns and operates a 630 kilowatt solar system on the roof of the Severn building in UMD College park.

The seminar also included a brief customer study on Susquehanna University, and the work WGL Energy will be doing on campus.

“It’ll be a four megawatt project,” said Walsh on the project, which is expected to be one of the largest solar projects in the state.

The project, which will supply one-third of the energy needs on campus, will be lo- cated at the CEER, or Center for Environmental Education and Research, along the western border of campus on Sassafras Street.

“To my understanding, we’re going to do a joint announcement about our project together here in the next few weeks,” Walsh said.

WGL Energy is a energy solution company that can help local companies, landowners, and Fortune 1000 companies.

On their website they claim to have solutions for all ranges ofindividuals.Thesesolutions come with consultations with the company and a focus on certain energy resources.

These resources come from natural gas, electricity, carbon reduction, renewable energy, distributed generation and energy efficient solutions.

The company has made improvements in becoming environmentally friendly in relation to energy solutions. WGL won the Center for Resource Solutions

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