Imagine harnessing the energy produced from all the exercise machines in the West Virginia University Student Recreation Center to provide power to other parts of the Morgantown campuses.

WVU students who can imagine their own approaches for improving energy efficiency can now apply for grant funding to investigate their ideas under WVU s new Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) program.

The Sustainable and Renewable Energy Grants Program , sponsored by the WVU Research Corp. and WVU Facilities and Services , will make $500-1,000 available to teams of students with the best ideas for further research.

The program was announced by Mridul Gautam , interim associate vice president for research at the WVU Research Corp., and Joe Fisher , associate vice president of facilities and services. Gautam and Clement Solomon, WVU s director of sustainability, serve as the program officers for the funding opportunity.

Information about the grant program is available online at . Proposals are due Oct. 31 for funding that will be available Jan. 7, 2009.

This is an opportunity for WVU students to receive grant funding to cover expenses as they work on innovative ideas to improve the sustainable use of energy, environmental practices and energy efficiency across the WVU campus,Gautam said.We are looking for practical, realistic and achievable ideas.

He said other examples of the types of projects the competitive grant process may fund include: evaluation of the carbon footprint of WVU and an assessment of cost-effective ways to reduce it; ideas to interact with WVU Facilities Management to enhance energy conservation, utilization and management; or creation of public Web sites that post live statistics on energy issues that impact WVU and Morgantown.

Undergraduate students from any discipline may apply for an award. Cross-college teams of three to six participants, including a faculty adviser, are preferred. The competition will be held for funding every semester.

The goal of WVU s AEI is for WVU to become internationally recognized as a leading academic institution driving innovative research in the socially and environmentally responsible production, management and utilization of energy.

WVU Research Corp. on the Net: