NextEra Energy Resources donates $75,000 to UNLV for support of solar education programs and research
For students, Fridays on the campus of UNLV are often devoted to lab courses. Recently, a group of 20 UNLV undergraduate and graduate engineering students studying solar and renewable energy technologies had an opportunity to take their lab on the road, and visit a working solar site.
Located just east of Primm, Nevada, the Silver State South Solar Energy Center opened in June 2016 and has the capacity to generate 250 megawatts of photovoltaic solar energy. The site is owned and operated by NextEra Energy Resources which currently has several projects in the state and is set to break ground on another in Northern Nevada at the beginning of next year.
“There’s increasing demand for green, clean, home-grown power,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick, Director of Development, NextEra Energy Resources. “We’re proud to be here in Nevada, investing money and being part of the state’s renewable energy future.”
In addition to investing money into solar plants, the company is also investing in UNLV, its students, and its research. NextEra has donated $75,000 to provide financial support for solar education programs and to promote greater utilization and access to solar power through research and policy analysis.
“We toured the labs at UNLV and saw all the exciting work the students and faculty are doing on renewable energy research,” continued Fitzpatrick. “Together, we can help drive the future of renewable energy.”
At the solar site, the students got to not only see an operating solar project, but test their skills with a hands-on microgrid trainer that simulates supervisory operations of solar energy as it makes its way to the grid.
“In the College of Engineering, we pride ourselves on providing experiential learning activities to our students in the lab and classroom,” said Rama Venkat, Dean of the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering. “Partners like NextEra Energy extend that experience outside of the classroom, providing real-world opportunities for our students and the resources to support their research.”