A UW-Madison professor is on the route home after biking over 1,000 miles across the Midwest.
James Tinjum, a professor in the College of Engineering at UW-Madison, started his ride on July 28, and stopped in Lake Hallie Wednesday morning. Tinjum said his mission is to promote awareness of solar energy, and raise money for a solar energy project in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.
"Puerto Rico imports 98 percent of their energy, from imported natural gas, coal and oil, even though it's an island with lots of solar resources," Tinjum told our Eau Claire affiliate WQOW News 18. "If we can make solar energy economical here at 45 degrees north latitude, definitely want to do it in Puerto Rico where their electricity rates are very high."
Tinjum also said there's a potential for energy sustainability in Puerto Rico, along with a wave of affordable solar energy.
"Sites like this, there's going to be more and more of them coming as the costs continue to come down and they become competitive and even more economical than sources such as coal," said Tinjum. "Wisconsin has no fossil-based fuel resources, so if we use coal or natural gas, we're importing it from other states or we're importing energy from Canada."
Tinjum explained solar energy is the future, and it's a lesson he's passing along to his students.
"Our engineers of the future, the people that are going to be building these projects in the future are coming through, this is what they want to do," Tinjum said. "It all comes full circle when people are aware of what the options are."
If you wanted to help Tinjum with his mission you can donate to his GoFundMe campaign here.