Grant to help community college students learn solar power skills

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ASHLAND, Ky.(WTVQ) – Kentucky Power announced a $75,000 gift Thursday to Ashland Community and Technical College to fund the college’s Solar SmartFlower training project.

“This grant is a significant investment in our young adults and our community as they learn about energy through solar power,” said Kentucky Power President Brett Mattison. “ACTC is such a valuable resource in our community and we are glad to partner with them by helping fund this program.”

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The purchase of a Solar SmartFlower would be used as an educational trainer to provide power to ACTC’s specified training facilities and equipment, such as an electric car charging station.

The project will open many doors for ACTC to better utilize and expand the electrical technology department so that students can learn the cutting-edge technology that is required of today’s electricians.

The Solar SmartFlower will also aid in student engagement in solar photovoltaics, programmable logic controls, electrical motor controls and battery technologies, all of which are curriculum requirements.

The SmartFlower solar flower is an all-in-one ground-mounted solar system with a tracker that follows the sun.

“ACTC is grateful for the investment of Kentucky Power and AEP Foundation to help us deliver cutting edge training in solar energy in our technical programs,” said Dr. Larry Ferguson, president and CEO of Ashland Community and Technical College.

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by AEP and its utility operating companies, including Kentucky Power. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education in science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger.

Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Ashland, provides electric service to approximately 165,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties, including Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Rowan. Kentucky Power is an operating company in the AEP system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system. AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.