National Guard hosts 'green' fair

In honor of Earth Day, the Nevada National Guard hosted an environmental fair Wednesday.

"The military is trying to promote sustainability of our environment," said Chief Warrant Officer Jim Groth, environmental supervisor for the Nevada National Guard. "We're really trying to lead the way and show the community we're using environmentally sound practices."

About seven booths were set up around the guard's gymnasium providing information on alternative energy, green commercial and cleaning supplies, and recycling, among others.

James Medeiros, of the Solar Store, set up solar panels outside the building to power a light and music display.

"We're actually putting a net charge on the batteries," he said. "In spite of everything I'm running, I'm still charging the batteries."

His mother and company owner, Leslie Medeiros, said they host free symposiums every other week to educate customers about residential and commercial solar energy.

"We'd like to see as many people go green as they can. But it has to make sense for them," she said. "We want to help them determine what works best for them."

Lite Year Solar had a blinking stop sign on display and is hoping to contract with the department of transportation. They also have solar overhead and walkway lights for possible residential use.

"It's helping the environment, and it offers energy savings through efficiency," explained sales manager Kai Demolski.

Groth, who was recently appointed by Gov. Jim Gibbons to lead the state's solar task force, also hosted two informational briefings on solar energy projects at the National Guard and plans to team with private organizations to increase such projects.

He led tours of the test bed of solar panels that power the guard's maintenance shop. He said construction is set to begin in October on solar panels that are expected to provide energy for the entire facility.

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