Students at Maryland college collaborate with alternative energy manufacturer for solar power initiatives

A northwestern Maryland college is getting an exciting opportunity to partner with a leading provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar system solutions to collaborate on new energy-efficient projects.

Last week, students from Hagerstown Community College's (HCC) alternative energy technology program toured a 20-megawatt solar farm with First Solar, the company they're working with, reports local source The Herald-Mail.

Instructors from the school explained to the source that this was an important step in the process, as it would give students the opportunity to visualize firsthand just what it takes to produce such a system. Next, First Solar will continue to interact with students in a series of guest lectures, internships and through a digital dashboard on campus displaying operational data from the solar farm, which will begin operating in 2013.

But that's not all. The company has also donated 300 solar panels to the college. HCC president Guy Altieri told the source that students will be installing the panels themselves next to their Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

HCC students and faculty alike have expressed their excitement about these opportunities, with one student saying it's "awesome" to be part of such solar and alternative energy initiatives.

"To have a corporation as prestigious as First Solar feel that the quality of HCC's alternative energy curriculum is deserving of their contributions of hundreds of state-of-the art solar panels, staff expertise and opportunities for our associate degree students to receive paid internships, is a wonderful testimonial that our faculty and staff have created a truly world-class program," Altieri said in a press release.

It's exciting to see the continued adoption of energy-efficient homes, businesses and organizations. If you're a home or business owner looking to explore the eco-friendly options available to you, a home inspection contractor can help you identify some cost-effective solutions.