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Rhode Island Students Win $10,000 to Design Solar/Wind System to Help Food Fish Production

Release Date: 10/23/2009
Contact Information: Paula Ballentine, 617-918-1027

(Boston – October 23, 2009) A team of students at Roger Williams University received a $10,000 grant from the EPA for their work on a system that uses wind and solar energy to produces fish food.

The Roger Williams project was one of two projects in New England and forty-three nationwide to receive grants targeted at teams of college and university students across the country who will design creative technologies to help the developed and developing world. The People, Prosperity, and the Planet (P3) Phase I awards for the 2009-2010 competition challenged students to design and build sustainable technologies that improve quality of life, promote economic development and protect the environment.

The students at Roger Williams are working to refine a pond-based aquaculture production system driven by renewable energy sources in hopes of eliminating the need for commercial electrical power.

The project could advance the state of aquaculture production globally and significantly improve sustainable food production, according to team members. By using alternative power tested in a fish farm, the project aims to improve existing aquaculture technology.

“It is incumbent on developed nations to improve and expand our capacity to produce food in an environment that is sustained for future generations,” said Dale Leavitt, research team member. “One production strategy that has high potential for providing food is aquaculture.”

The P3 grants were given to teams who submitted applications focused on a wide range of categories, including water, energy, agriculture, built environment, materials and chemicals, and information technology. After working on the project for eight months, the teams will bring their designs to the 6th Annual National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, DC. There, a select few projects will be awarded P3 Awards and Phase II grants up to $75,000 for students to further their designs, implement them in the field, or move them to the marketplace.

The other grant in New England was given to a team from Wellesley College in Massachusetts that is working on a solar system that can be used for heating and cooking.

More information on EPA’s P3 program:
More information on 2009-2010 Phase I P3 Awards: