Pace Professor’s New Film Focuses on the Importance of Going Green

LaRosa+believes+that+solar+panels+are+ideal+because+it+doesn%27t+require+as+much+maintenance+as+other+power+sources.+
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Pace Professor’s New Film Focuses on the Importance of Going Green

LaRosa believes that solar panels are ideal because it doesn't require as much maintenance as other power sources.

LaRosa believes that solar panels are ideal because it doesn't require as much maintenance as other power sources.

Creative Commons Zero

LaRosa believes that solar panels are ideal because it doesn't require as much maintenance as other power sources.

Creative Commons Zero

Creative Commons Zero

LaRosa believes that solar panels are ideal because it doesn't require as much maintenance as other power sources.

Jake Maddia, Arts & Entertainment Writer

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Professor Melanie LaRosa is currently completing her new documentary about solar installations, and clean energy being brought into communities in the United States. The documentary will also follow the people who are bringing the clean energy and their reasons behind doing so. LaRosa visited a variety of cities around the nation that are big into clean energy.

“I started in Atlantic City because there is a wind farm there, and then I added New York City, Las Vegas, Detroit, and Puerto Rico after the hurricane because there were so many people talking about rebuilding the solars, and on I am going to Vermont because they have a very clean utility that helps people switch to clean energy,” she said.

LaRosa has a lot of passion about the subject. In fact, she said the reason she made this documentary is because when she discovered the amount of solar and wind that was being used around New York City, and that Staten Island is the borough with the most solar installations. However, she started shooting the film in 2012 before Hurricane Sandy hit, and all of these places in New York lost power for around a month.

“Seeing the biggest city in the country lose electricity is shocking,” she said. “Gas pumps don’t work, water pumps don’t work, and no one knows where you are.”

LaRosa hopes that people understand that having power in homes is actually more important than one thinks. Something that especially caught her attention was when she heard that these people were using emergency solar generators that attached to a truck so they could bring them to local community centers and plug them in so people could have access to power. The reason this caught her attention was because unlike generators, these solar panels don’t make noise and do not smell bad.

“Generators make electricity which is good but if you don’t have fuel for them or they run out you can not use them,” she said. “Plus, generators are loud and they smell bad. However, solar panels don’t make any noise, and all you need is batteries”

Those who share the same views as LaRosa in terms of solar energy would probably say that politicians do not want U.S. citizens o to go solar. However, according to LaRosa, politicians are not making it harder. In fact, she said that just about every state has something called a renewable portfolio standard, which means they have to use some renewable energy. For instance, New York State gets a lot of its energy from dams because of Niagara Falls but not enough to run the whole city.

Aside from what the movie is about, LaRosa also talked about the filming process. She said that documentary filmmaking can be very DIY and it means you do it with around 50 other people doing different things. In fact, she decided to hire people that were in the states she went to because it was much cheaper then flying everyone out and getting a hotel for everyone.

Despite having a crew that helped with the movie, LaRosa did most of the directing herself, which makes it all the more impressive. She said that the film should be finished by early next year, and she hopes that her film will be one of the firsts to cover this issue.

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