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Solar farm proposed for University of Georgia

Solar farm proposed for University of Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. -- The state Board of Regents is expected to vote Tuesday whether to approve a small solar farm proposed by Georgia Power for the University of Georgia campus.

The solar farm, which would have a generating capacity of about 1 megawatt of electric power – enough to power an estimated 125 homes – would belong to Georgia Power, reports the Athens Banner-Herald. The proposed site is seven to 10 acres on South Milledge Avenue.

The project is termed "Solar Tracking Demonstration Project" in documents submitted to the regents.

UGA is not using the property and does not have immediate plans for the property, UGA Vice President for Research David Lee told the Banner-Herald.

Power generated would go to the state's power grid. The farm would benefit UGA researchers and students in engineering and agriculture, who could access the project for "learning opportunities," Lee said.

Last trainload of coal rolls to UGA campus

Last trainload of coal rolls to UGA campus

ATHENS, Ga. -- The University of Georgia will receive its last train shipment of coal this week.

The Athens Line is scheduled to bring the last shipment of coal for the university's coal-fired steam boiler, slated for replacement this winter, reports Athens Banner-Herald.

The train last week brought in five cars of coal, about 500 tons, from Virginia's Red River Coal Company, Tom Satterly, assistant vice president of UGA's facilities management division, told the paper. This week's expected shipment of another six cars with 600 tons, will provide the stockpile of just more than 4,000 tons to help heat Athens' main campus in the months ahead, Satterly said.

The university's old coal-fired steam boiler is used to provide steam for the vast network of pipes that snake through the university campus.

Consultants recommended an electrode boiler powered by Georgia Power Company electricity.

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

Kids encouraged to 'Plug into Nature'

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has brought back its Give Wildlife a Chance Poster Contest for 2014.

This year's theme is Plug into Nature, emphasizing the importance of experiencing wildlife and plants firsthand.

All Georgia students in grades kindergarten through 5 are invited to enter the contest. The top 12 winners' posters will be displayed on the DNR's Flickr site and at the Go Fish Education Center in Perry during the first two weeks in May.

Contest entries are due Apr. 16. Three winners will be picked in four categories (kindergarten, grades 1-2, grades 3-4, grade 5).

Visit georgiawildlife.com for more information about the contest.

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

GEMA: Georgians should prepare as hurricane season hurries in

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Emergency Management Agency stresses the importance of safety just before Hurricane Preparedness Week hits. 

During the week, May 26 - June 1, education will be offered to all residents through Georgia who plan to camp outdoors, throw cookouts and spend time at the lakes or in the backyard. Severe weather can make its way here anytime, a Ready Georgia spokeswoman said, which puts Georgians at risk statewide.

Eight campus buildings compete in RecycleMania Tournament

Eight campus buildings compete in RecycleMania Tournament

ATHENS, Ga. -- For the 13th year, the RecycleManiacs are holding their annual tournament at the University of Georgia. 

The competition runs through March 29, when students of eight campus buildings will vie to reach the highest recycling rate. 

Program Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability Andrew Lentini said, "If participating in RecycleMania forces our community to think about putting that can or newspaper into a recycling bin rather than one destined for landfill, we think that's a great success."

The eight buildings taking on RecycleMania include journalism, psychology, chemistry, biological sciences, Miller Plant Sciences, Aderhold Hall, Lamar Dodd School of Art an Hugh Hodgson School of Music. 

Drought spreads into North Georgia

Drought spreads into North Georgia

ATLANTA -- Georgia's state climatologist says extreme drought conditions have now spread into North Georgia and cover most of the state south of the mountains.

Climatologist David Stooksbury says all of Georgia's counties are now classified as being in moderate, severe or extreme drought.

In his most recent reports on the drought, Stooksbury said the outlook for relief in the short-term is not promising. Unless Georgia sees some tropical weather over the next few months, the state can expect below-normal rainfall and above-normal temperatures.

Without tropical rain, Georgia's soil is expected to continue to dry out. Stream flows, groundwater levels and reservoir levels are expected to continue to drop, and wildfire potentials are expected to remain high to extreme.

ATHENS: UGA researcher finds cold affects coral reefs

ATHENS: UGA researcher finds cold affects coral reefs

ATHENS, Ga. -- A new study by a University of Georgia researcher shows extremely low temperatures can affect coral reefs, just as high temperatures can.

UGA researcher Dustin Kemp grew interested in the subject after an extended cold snap in reefs off of the Florida Keys in early 2010 revealed a reef that was essentially dead.

Kemp tested different types of coral in cold water. He found that while responses varied among the types, the stress of extended cold temperatures had a similar effect to that of high temperatures.

Kemp said the study shows that warming might not be the only climate-related problem for coral reefs. He said the problem affects the animal populations like lobsters, shrimp, clams and fish that live in such ecosystems.