Solar array will allow OPP vehicles to operate at zero fuel cost.

Solar array will allow OPP vehicles to operate at zero fuel cost.

Stephen Oskin is an engineer employed by Penn State. Often he is required to travel to various parts of the campus and the university makes a vehicle available to him, their employee, as many companies do. He saw it as "contradictory" to drive his "gas guzzler" on short trips around University Park. Inspired, he worked to not only get his department to purchase electric cars, but he came up with a way  to make their fuel consumption 100% green.Even though electric cars make less of a carbon footprint than a fossil- fuel burning vehicle, the usage is offset when you consider that most electricity in Pennsylvania is carbon generated– that means coal. Oskin's idea was to install a solar array that would generate power and be put back into the grid that would offset the power that the small fleet of electric cars would consume.Several students from varying majors volunteered to help OPP with the installation and gained invaluable experience.  Once the grid is up and running it will not only nullify the fuel costs of the vehicles, but also pay for itself in a few years.

C. Roy Parker