Culpeper High Senior and Culpeper Technical Education Center go solar | local news

By LAURA M. HOOVER for the Culpeper Star Exponent

If you’ve got pushed by the Culpeper Technical Education Center lately, you may need seen that the roof has taken on a brand new look.

More than 1,200 solar panels had been added to the highschool constructing this spring. What you in all probability do not know is {that a} Culpeper County High School pupil who took lessons at CTEC performed a hands-on position within the challenge.

Culpeper High Senior Josh Moody jumped on the alternative to take his studying to a different stage within the classroom.

During the autumn semester, Moody accomplished a CTEC Electrical I course, which included an OSHA 10 skilled certification. That and his age of 18 certified him for an internship interview at Affordable Energy Concepts, Madison Heights, Virginia, a contractor putting in the solar panels on CTEC’s rooftop. Impressed with him, AEC provided Moody the prospect to be a part of the CTEC solar workforce.

When requested if he believed his course would result in such a consequence, Moody stated, “No. I used to be simply hoping it might assist me create a pleasant trying resume to get a job however it turned out simply good.”

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“I’m not a college particular person, I’m a sensible particular person, in order that was good for me,” he stated.

Moody estimates he is put about 80 hours into the solar challenge because it started in December.

CTEC Director Shaun Summerscales stated that whereas the CTEC Electrical course didn’t cowl photovoltaic power, its fundamental ideas gave Moody the muse he wanted to be a part of the solar challenge.

AEC Project Manager Zach Campbell labored intently with the Moody and CTEC workforce on the challenge.

“Josh was capable of put his CTEC electrical idea programs into follow every day and assist and be taught all through the challenge,” stated Campbell. “We’re glad Josh has made this dedication and grateful for his laborious work.”

What did the scholar be taught from collaborating within the challenge?

“Everything I do know now about solar panels, wiring and inexperienced power,” Moody stated. “I realized that I get pleasure from my work and discovered a job that I actually get pleasure from. It was the perfect of my highschool expertise.”

After graduating from Culpeper High this week, Moody might be holding a job supply from AEC for his outstanding work on the solar roof challenge.

On May 12, on the Careers and Technical Education Signing Day, Moody signed a letter of intent to work for AEC. He begins out as an electrician. He plans to get a journeyman electrician’s license, which would require years of apprenticeship work.

Summerscales stated he’s happy with the success Moody has discovered at CTEC.

“I could not be prouder of Josh Moody,” stated the director. “Josh has been desperate to seize the chance since arriving at CTEC. When AEC offered the open place, he instantly jumped on it. Josh has demonstrated a formidable capability to be taught new abilities shortly, be trainable and skilled always. We cannot wait to see Josh’s profession at AEC.”


Solar panels weren’t a part of the unique development of the CTEC constructing, however had been all the time a part of the plan.

RRMM Architects designed the constructing with solar power in thoughts, stated Division Superintendent Tony Brads.

“The CTEC constructing was designed to be net-zero power consuming, which means it produces at the very least as a lot power because it makes use of,” stated Dr. brads

CTEC’s solar challenge, which began in December 2021, put in 1,218 solar panels on the college’s roof. In addition, a ground-mounted solar array put in subsequent to the college supplies an interactive element for CTEC college students.

“The addition of the solar panels will enable CCPS to showcase inexperienced power to college students of all ages,” Summerscales stated. “The ground-mounted unit permits college students to see solar panels up shut.”

The CTEC system is exclusive in that its know-how permits the college system to watch every solar panel and its power manufacturing.

“The general measurement of the challenge is 548.1 kilowatts using 450-watt solar panels,” stated Campbell, challenge supervisor at AEC. “We estimate that the plant will produce roughly 650,000 to 760,000 kilowatt hours or 650 to 760 megawatt hours yearly.”

Based on these estimates, the constructing will generate considerably extra electrical energy than it consumes.

Any extra power produced is credited to the college division’s power consumption, benefiting their funds. In addition, Culpeper County public colleges will profit from the sale of renewable power credit.

Student studying shouldn’t be restricted to solar and electrical ideas because the AEC system features a SolarEdge internet interface. SolarEdge permits CTEC college students and guests to see the college’s power manufacturing and consumption in actual time. It additionally features a climate station that improves his instructing abilities.

“It will give our college students an ideal real-world instance of how inexperienced power can be utilized,” Summerscales stated.

The future

The solar roof challenge is off to a fantastic begin, and the college division has but to start to appreciate the long-term advantages.

The solar panels will assist energy CTEC and enhance studying alternatives on the college. The challenge supplied the college system with a robust relationship with AEC and, most significantly, supplied one in all its college students with full-time employment upon commencement.

“This solar challenge was an unbelievable alternative for CCPS, CTEC college students and our firm, AEC, to showcase an modern challenge,” Campbell stated whereas contemplating the enterprise. “This challenge is not going to solely present CTEC with on-site renewable electrical energy, however may even enrich the scholars’ classroom expertise.

“CTEC hosts career-focused packages to arrange college students for his or her future careers via hands-on instruction and genuine office experiences,” he added. “Now, this solar system will present one other alternative for college students to get entangled as they make plans for all times after highschool.”

AEC President David Wall stated the challenge was a fantastic alternative for his small enterprise.

“AEC Solar was not solely capable of set up an modern solar system for CTEC to cut back their electrical payments, however we had been capable of develop a robust relationship with CTEC workers and an intern for this challenge via Principal Shaun Summerscales, who allowed us to rent {an electrical} engineering pupil ‘ Wall stated. “This pupil plans to affix us after commencement in May. This is a serious profit for AEC Solar.

“We plan to proceed this relationship with CTEC within the hope that future electrical college students will be capable of work with us via internships and future employment,” he added.

Josh Moody’s recommendation for potential CTEC college students? “Be excited, look to the long run, that is totally different, that is one thing that can enable you in your journey. This is a useful step in your life,” he stated. “It’s not just a few random class you must take. It might be helpful.”

Moody thanked Sidney Trimmer, his CTEC electrician teacher, for bringing the internship alternative to his consideration.

Looking to the long run, he is able to embark on his new journey with AEC.

“I’m trying ahead to working full-time and seeing the place it takes me,” stated Moody.

Next month, Culpeper Public Schools plan to carry a “Power On” ceremony to rejoice the completion of the CTEC solar challenge.

To see CTEC’s solar roof from above, courtesy of Culpeper drone pilot Bo Corbin, click on on Video 1 or Video 2.

Laura M. Hoover is the Director of Communications and Scholarships for Culpeper County Public Schools.

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