Louisa County Public Schools office building being outfitted with solar panels by students

More than half of the building will be powered by solar panels, and the project is being installed by students.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 5:57 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Louisa County Public Schools office building will soon be even more green.

More than half of the building will be powered by solar panels, and the project is being installed by students.

The students in Louisa County High School’s “Energy and Power” class are the engineers behind the project. Once installed, the solar panels will save the schools around $1000 a month on their energy bill.

“The fact that we’re teenagers putting up solar panels, being able to do all this stuff that you’d see grown adults doing it most of the time, it’s just a really cool thing,” junior Josh Morgan said.

David Childress is teaching his students how to do it all.

“We got a grant for all of the materials for the project. And it’s to teach students real world experience, hands on experience and installing solar,” Childress said.

The other part of the grant money will go towards installing electronic vehicle chargers around Louisa County.

“It’s very unusual to see kids doing this type of skill, but our philosophy is we want to give students like real hands on world experience,” Childress said.

The course is split in two parts. First comes learning the theory of solar energy, and actually performing the installation comes in the second half.

The building of the solar panels started in January.

“It’s really nice to actually see our whole work finally paying off,” Morgan said.

The goal of the course is to get students prepared to work in the growing field of solar installation.

“The job data shows that we have the actual workforce needs available in our county, in our region. So we just want to be one of the school divisions to help be a partner,” Career and Technical Education director Bo Bundrick said.

Powering up the office building is just a start for these students.

“They’re getting opportunities that no other kids in the state or I think in the country are getting, you know. To come out here and to to be able to participate in, learn how to install solar. It’s a huge trade. It’s more and more companies popping up all the time and they need people with these skills,” Childress said.

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