GVSU holds training on solar power systems
Grand Valley hosted a solar power training seminar for first-responders, sponsored by Consumers Energy, Allendale Fire Department and the Occupational Safety and Health program and Facilities Services at Grand Valley.
The seminar, held October 11 at the Alumni House, covered several topics, including hazards of solar panels associated with firefighting, electrical and inhalant hazards, and solar panels and thermal systems on homes.
Fire department personnel from Kent, Ottawa, Allegan and Muskegon counties attended the training led by engineering faculty and Facilities Services staff at Grand Valley, and representatives from Consumers Energy and the Allendale Fire Department.
Participants also toured the solar power plant on the Allendale Campus and the Mobile Solar Education Module. The power plant is a large solar installation that any Consumers Energy electric customer, both residential and business, can subscribe to. It consists of about 11,250 solar panels and more than 100 inverters installed on 17 acres of land.
The Mobile Solar Education Module is an 18-foot, solar energy-producing module created by Grand Valley students that was on display during ArtPrize. The structure was designed and constructed by a team of senior students from the School of Engineering, through a grant from Consumers Energy.
The first-responder training was part of a partnership with Consumers Energy; the company is providing a $20,000 grant each year for the next six years for interdisciplinary projects and curriculum.