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South Carolina businesses dedicate Solar Array Panels to the Center for Advanced Technical Studies


IRMO, SC - It was a special day for the Center for Advanced Technical Studies as a number of South Carolina businesses dedicated two, two-kilowatt solar arrays to the school’s campus. Santee Cooper, Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative and Pitsco Education all had a hand in presenting the two arrays at the dedication ceremony on March 22.

“We are tremendously excited in the Clean Energy Technology program to now have available to us an over four kilowatt solar demonstration project,” said The Center’s Clean Energy Technology instructor Patrick Smallwood. “We cannot thank all of our partners enough for rallying around this project and making it cross the finish line. It has been a dream of ours to have a project like this for a couple of years. Our students now have available to them some of the most modern technology in the solar energy industry. It’s an exciting day!”

The solar array’s installation, one of which follows the sun, produces electricity from the sun’s rays and provides students a first-hand look at the opportunities and challenges of solar power. Students, educators and utility representatives gathered around the pole-mounted solar arrays to officially commemorate the partnership that made the installation a reality.

“What a day like today does for us is allow doors for our students to open up to new opportunities in the expanding field of energy,” said Director at The Center, Dr. Bob Couch. “Our students will have opportunities no other students in the state have. This will expose them to career pathways I think they will find inviting in the future both in energy and engineering. It is a tremendous boost to our program.”

Business partners on hand at the ceremony agreed with Dr. Couch that this will expand students’ horizons. “Programs like these challengetomorrow’s leaders to think critically about renewable energy sources and how they might benefit future generations,” said Stephen Spivey, Santee Cooper’s manager of renewable energy. “The investment made here at the Center for Advanced Technical Studies is an investment in both the future generation and the future of energy for our state.” Matt Porth of Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative added, “The Clean Energy Technology program provides students with hands-on experience with clean energy resources. This project is invaluable, as it gives them real-world application in the classroom.”

“Pitsco is delighted to have the opportunity to be a partner in this project and contribute to the development of the future workforce in advanced energy and sustainability,” said Dr. Harvey Dean, CEO of Pitsco Education.

District Five Superintendent Dr. Stephen Hefner continues to be impressed with the advancements in education The Center offers students. “The Solar Project Partnership has provided our Clean Energy Technology students the opportunity to be engaged in cutting-edge, sustainable energy technology,” said Hefner. “This will allow them to explore careers available in the various energy-engineering field. Our students will have the opportunity to graduate and be college and career ready, and will have a passion for next generation energy!”

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