GE and mtvU Award M.I.T. Students with $25,000 Eco-Grant

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GE and mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, today greenlighted the winning student-developed project in the first-ever mtvU GE ecomagination Challenge: Biodiesel@MIT, a first-of-its-kind, solar-powered refueling station and processor to convert waste vegetable oil to biodiesel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The national competition asked college students to propose innovative and impactful ways to green their campuses. Biodiesel@MIT will be funded with a $25,000 eco-grant that will help the university reduce its environmental footprint and energy costs. M.I.T. will also receive an mtvU Earth Day Concert headlined by college favorites Angels & Airwaves - free for all students of the university.

Biodiesel@MIT was selected as the winner of the mtvU GE ecomagination Challenge by mtvU, GE and a panel of environmental experts from GreenOrder, with input from college students nationwide who cast online votes supporting their favorite projects.

"In 2005, GE launched its ecomagination business strategy, marking the company's commitment to help solve some of the world's toughest environmental challenges," said Lorraine Bolsinger, Vice President, ecomagination. "We believe tomorrow's answers to these challenges can come from questions asked on college campuses today. We were impressed by the quality and quantity of the responses we received from many schools, including the excellent proposal submitted by the team at MIT, which will not only have a significant impact on their campus but also can serve as a model for what campuses across the country can do."

"Biodiesel@MIT uniquely combines innovation, pragmatism and wide-scale applicability and we're proud to play a role in breathing life into the project - a fantastic model for campuses nationwide," said Stephen Friedman, GM of mtvU. "Every time we ask our audience for answers to some of the world's most pressing problems, we're blown away by their creativity, and we hope the smart thinking that went into this competition helps to further the growing campus sustainability movement."

With the help of the $25,000 grant from GE and mtvU, the Biodiesel@MIT team plans to create and implement the nation's first university solar-powered refueling station that converts waste vegetable oil to biodiesel. Executing the project will include purchasing a biodiesel processor, installing a photovoltaic system to offset any electricity consumed during biodiesel processing and establishing a student-led team to oversee the project on an ongoing basis. Once installed, the refueling station is expected to considerably reduce M.I.T.'s carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide emissions, as well as reduce the university's fuel and labor costs. The project is expected to be fully operational by fall of this year. To learn more about the winning project, or check out some of the other top proposals, please visit

In addition to making a meaningful and lasting impact on M.I.T.'s environmental footprint, the Biodiesel@MIT team has also secured an mtvU Earth Day Concert and Festival for M.I.T. The concert will be headlined by Angels & Airwaves, an act that's been huge on the college music scene this past year.

To watch the Biodiesel@MIT team - which includes students Matt Albrecht, Chad Augustine, Sara Barnowski, Joshua Dittrich, Katrina Ellison, Curt Fischer, Josh Garvin, Franklin Goldsmith, Craig Hart, Nasly Jimenez, Daniel Klein, Amy Ludlam, Scott Paap, Andrew Peterson, Joe Roy-Mayhew and Matthew Zedler - being surprised with the news they've won the mtvU GE ecomagination Challenge, tune into mtvU or the network's all access broadband channel on March 28th. The Earth Day concert at M.I.T. with Angels & Airwaves will premiere on mtvU and in late April.

Angels & Airwaves is lead singer and guitarist Tom DeLonge, guitarist David Kennedy, drummer Atom Willard and bassist Ryan Sinn. The band's members are avid supporters of pro-environmental initiatives and have been vocal proponents for greater eco-responsibility. Angels & Airwaves debut album, "We Don't Need To Whisper," was released May 23rd, 2006 on Suretone/Geffen Records and entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at #4. The album has gone on to sell over half a million copies in the U.S. alone. Angels & Airwaves was recognized with the 2006 mtvU "Woodie of the Year" (Artist of the Year), given to the act that makes the biggest splash on the college music scene each year. The mtvU Woodie Awards are the only awards honoring the music voted best by the college audience.

Ecomagination is GE's commitment to imagine and build innovative technologies that help customers address their environmental and financial needs. It is both a business strategy to drive growth at GE and a promise to contribute positively to the environment in the process.

The ecomagination Challenge is a joint initiative of mtvU and GE, and mtvU's own extension of Break the Addiction, THINK MTV's campaign to mobilize a new generation of environmental activists, by engaging young people to take daily steps that have a measurable impact in the fight against global warming. Launched on Earth Day 2006, Break the Addiction is a year long campaign and 12-step program to engage young people to make smart, every day choices that both improve their life and help to curb the impact of global warming and preserve our environment - General Electric.

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