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      Columbia College uses grant for thermal cells at dorms

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Earth Day is this Friday, so what a better time to go green.

      A ribbon cutting ushered in a new day for Columbia College. With help from a federal energy grant for close to $200,000, the school installed thermal cells on three of their dormitories.

      The cells use the natural light of the sun to help warm students' water and reduce the school's environmental impact.

      "This is a way we can make a difference not only for our energy conservation in the country, but also to inspire a generation of students who see that this really can make a difference," says Caroline Whitson, President of Columbia College.

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      Developers estimate that the installation will end up saving the school over $270,000 during the lifetime of the project.

      The technology in use is similar to thermal cells in use on USC's Green Quad.