Louisa CTE Department Installs Solar Training Array

Posted May 16, 2022

Louisa High School's Career and Technical Education (CTE) department has an ambitious vision: to create a first-of-its-kind solar training facility to prepare students for careers in the rapidly growing renewable energy industry. On Tuesday, May 10th, Louisa reached an important milestone towards this vision with the construction of a nine-module, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array on school grounds.

The solar array will provide energy for an onsite model house, which students from the Building Trades class built in the fall of 2021. Each semester students in the Energy and Power class will have the opportunity to get experience in every part of the solar energy installation process, gaining exposure to installing solar panels or internal electrical wiring installations. The CTE Department’s primary goal is for students to graduate with industry-recognized certifications like a NABCEP PV Installer and OSHA 10 certification; both of which are widely recognized credentials that will give students a competitive advantage when applying for solar jobs.

This project also aligns with another major Louisa CTE goal: to build connections between the school and local industry partners. Louisa County Public Schools and Sun Tribe Solar’s partnership began with the development and installation of large-scale ground mount arrays at Louisa's schools. Jouett Elementary School, Moss-Nuckols Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, and Trevilians Elementary School are all currently powered by solar energy, with solar arrays for the middle and high schools being currently in development. Crux Solar, experts in smaller-scale commercial and residential solar, also played a major role by volunteering to do the design and construction of the training array.

The new solar array will be energized for the first-time next fall when students are back in session. Stay tuned for more updates on this innovative program aimed at training students for excellence in energy careers.

Students install electrical conduit underground, preparing to connect the solar array to the house

Students construct the racking structure for the ground-mounted solar array

The nine-module solar training array will power the small house. Both structures will be used for electrical instruction.

NOTE: Madison Energy Infrastructure acquired Sun Tribe Solar in April 2024. The team remains dedicated to continuing - and growing - the reach and impact of Solar Empowered Schools.

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Solar Empowered Schools’ mission is to help students shine through renewable energy education. Madison Energy Infrastructure manages Solar Empowered Schools to extend the benefits of solar energy beyond roofs and into classrooms, preparing students for STEM careers and empowering youth to actively participate in their clean energy future.