AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - The sun was the star of the show Wednesday at UB's north campus in Amherst.
Even though most of us might not be on the best of terms with the sun lately, some youngsters were all for it at UB. The group was the first to learn about renewable energy at UB's Solar Strand Park.
Maureen Hanagan of Solar Liberty said, "It's really exciting. This is what we wanted to do. We want to spread the word about solar and renewable energy. And it has to start with the kids. They take it home, tell their parents and hopefully we'll just keep it going."
UB Chief Sustainability Officer Ryan McPherson said, "Having children understand the world in which they live and the challenges they face really, I think, gives them an opportunity to grow and an opportunity to really create great solutions and really to be tomorrow's leaders. We need young minds to be aware of these challenges and, probably most importantly, to dream and to think about what they can do in the world to make the world the best that they can."
And if you think that's all over their heads, just listen to a 7-year-old explain it.
"The sun hits these little rectangles in different places and they're connected to bigger rectangles connected to one big rectangle," said Johnoy Bewely. He added the rectangles "help the Earth present energy."
Even though the solar panels were just turned on in April, they've already harnessed enough approximate energy to power every single student apartment on campus for a full year.
UB is in the process of moving away from fossil fuel. Already more than 30 percent of its purchased electricity comes from natural resources. UB is hoping to become climate neutral, meaning the university plans to not take in more energy than it produces by 2030.
The solar park will be open this coming semester. When it's finished, UB says it will be one of the most accessible energy parks in the world and that it will offer something that someone of any age can learn from.
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