Alfred University News

Local chapter of American Solar Energy Society founded at Alfred University

Tessa Beaulieu, president of the Alfred University chapter of the American Solar Energy Society
Tessa Beaulieu, president of the Alfred University chapter of the American Solar Energy Society

In the short run, the newly formed Alfred University Chapter of The American Solar Energy Society hopes to broaden the community’s understanding of the long-term benefits of solar power.


In the short run, the newly formed Alfred University Chapter of The American Solar Energy Society hopes to broaden the community’s understanding of the long-term benefits of solar power.

The local ASES chapter also has a long-term goal, according to its president, third-year student Tessa Beaulieu: establishing a solar energy farm somewhere on the University campus.

“We’d like to get it going,” Beaulieu says. “But it will definitely be a project that continues after we graduate.”

Beaulieu, a Renewable Energy Engineering student in the Inamori School of Engineering, expects to graduate in the spring of 2022. Between now and then, she and the approximately 10 other members of the Alfred University ASES Chapter hope to bring speakers to the campus and help organize trips to solar farms.

“It’s a little difficult with COVID right now, but we want to bring in guest experts to help educate people regarding solar technology.”

Beaulieu says the recent near collapse of the electrical grid in Texas generated negative – and inaccurate – attitudes regarding renewable energy, especially electricity generated by wind farms, in which Texas had invested heavily in recent decades.

“Renewable energy got a bum rap,” she says. “It’s an important and necessary addition to the power grid, and there has been a lot of progression toward renewables like solar and wind power. Making solar energy a reliable source and learning how to store it in batteries is part of our future, and the future of reliable sources of electricity.”

Spreading that message will be part of the mission of Alfred University’s ASES chapter.

ACES was founded in 1954 with the mission of advocating “for sustainable living and 100 percent renewable energy by sharing information, events and resources to cultivate community and power progress.”

It’s a matter of getting out the word, Beaulieu says: Solar power and other renewable energy sources already are vital components of the evolving energy markets. “We hope they keep growing, and we want to be a part of that growth.”