If you’re an engineer working to improve the environment through better machine building, there’s a new grant program you should check out. Opto 22 has launched a grant to support automation projects related to renewable energy, energy-consumption optimization, sustainability, recycling and environmental remediation. “Anything that improves the environment is fair game,” says Arun Sinha, one of coordinators for Opto’s corporate sustainability program. These OptoGreen grants include free automation hardware, software, engineering consultations and lifetime support.
The first OptoGreen grant recently went to Makila Hydro, which will use its donated Opto SNAP PAC systems in the restoration and operation of a clean hydroelectric generator located within a refurbished sugar mill on the island of Maui. The value of this particular grant came to a few thousand dollars, though future grants could be worth more or less depending on the needs of the project.
Sinha notes that the grants won’t go exclusively to end-users and sustainable equipment operators. Opto is looking for winners across the entire supply chain. So machine builders and systems integrators who work on “green” systems will be in the running too.
Opto 22, by the way, may want to give itself a green grant. As part of its internally focused sustainability efforts, the company has used its own automation equipment and common- sense conservation moves to reduce its energy consumption. Sinha reports that the company cut energy usage by 29 percent in its 150,000 square foot facility in California. The company’s environmental efforts have also involved a greening of its soldering operations and the purchase of carbon offset credits, Sinha adds.
The company plans to award the OptoGreen grants as worthy projects roll in, so don’t wait to apply. Click here for the application.