New Solar Array Provides Learning Tool for North Point Students

WALDORF, Md. (December 06, 2011)—Students at North Point High School in Waldorf, Charles County, can now learn about solar energy through experience with a new photovoltaic (PV) array system installed outside the electrical construction classroom at the Waldorf school.

Donated by the Washington, D.C. Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC), the nine-panel PV array was installed by Crofton, Maryland-based T & B Electric Co., a member of Washington, D.C. Chapter, NECA. The donation comes from a long-standing relationship between the JATC and North Point, beginning when they contributed a classroom to the facility in 2004. The JATC is sponsored by the Electrical Alliance, a cooperative effort between the Washington, DC Chapter of NECA and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, (IBEW) Local 26.

North Point High School held a ribbon cutting ceremony MOnday at 2 p.m. with electrical students, faculty and staff, school board members and members of the JATC, NECA and IBEW to introduce the PV array system with short tour of the electrical construction classroom and work areas.

Keith Gascon, electrical construction teacher at North Point, said he expects the project to provide great benefits for students. He commended the JATC for its continuing support of the program and for working with the school to ensure students are exposed to the current skills needed in the electrical construction field. The array, Gascon said, will provide about 2,000 watt hours, or provide the power of a small generator. “The purpose is to provide energy to the work area, and also to provide education for our students and the JATC classes that are held here in the evening,” Gascon said.

“While the system does not provide a great amount of energy to power the school, it is most valued as an instructive tool to better prepare students interested in pursuing an electrical career. This was an opportunity to give potential apprentices a hands-on experience, especially in the growing green sector of our industry,” said Ralph Neidert, a master electrician in Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia and assistant director at the JATC.

Source: Charles County Public School System

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