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CCU Solar Ambassadors, UN Youth Corps to host trash pickup, solar project announcement at Plantersville Cultural Center

April 14, 2021
Meagan Modrusic is a CCU Solar Ambassador and UN Georgetown RISE Youth Corps intern.

Coastal Carolina University student Solar Ambassadors and United Nations Georgetown RISE Youth Corps will participate in a community trash pickup at the Plantersville Cultural Center in Georgetown on Saturday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. They will also announce the plans for a new 4 kW ground mount solar system, which will be installed in Plantersville later this summer. The site is sponsored by Alder Energy, RE-volv, and Santee Electric Cooperative.

Student leaders will speak at the event along with Rob Ardis, president and CEO of Santee Electric Cooperative, and Ray Funnye, Georgetown County public services director and director of The Village Group, a Georgetown County organization committed to inspiring and encouraging students to appreciate the value of being lifelong learners. A representative from Alder Energy may be present as well.

Children from The Village Group will join CCU students and community leaders for the trash pickup and will gather for a socially distanced barbecue following the announcement. There are 15 students involved with the new solar project, along with Pamela Martin, Ph.D., a professor of politics at CCU and executive director of United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise on Education Sustainable Development.

“The students chose the site, designed the bid with our installer and seed fund, presented the project to the board of The Village Group, are working with Alder Energy and Santee Electric Cooperative on the interconnection agreement, and are planning the announcement event,” Martin said.

The solar project will provide new job opportunities for the greater Georgetown community.

“Renewable energy is the fastest growing sector of the energy field and hosts about 700,000 jobs in the United States,” Martin said. “We hope to provide new career options for students by showing them that renewable energy is not something that happens far away, but right in their own community, and it can be a career choice for them in the future. We also hope this project provides an attraction to visitors to the center, so they can learn from our past and see the sustainable future of our communities.”

Martin and her students have been collaborating with Adler Energy, RE-volv, and Santee Electric Cooperative for more than a year to finalize project details.

“We partnered with Alder Energy, our solar installer, who with our solar seed fund, RE-volv, helped us develop a bid and budget for the project with site design of a 4Kw ground mount system,” Martin said. “Jeep Ford of Alder Energy is from Georgetown, S.C., and he has been instrumental in making this project come together and working with our team of solar ambassador students. Santee Electric Cooperative is the energy provider for that area and has been extremely helpful in the interconnection agreement and supporting the project.”

The Plantersville Cultural Center’s motto is “Valuing the Past and Envisioning the Future,” a sentiment that Martin said rings true with this project.

“The goal of this project is to link clean energy, a clean environment, and student learning with mentoring among generations,” Martin said. “We are valuing the heritage of Plantersville and its beautiful natural habitat while envisioning a clean energy future together with their young leaders and ours.”