At Innovative Solar Systems, LLC (ISS), we develop utility-scale solar farms, which affect local communities all over the country. Solar power has had a profound affect on struggling farmers who look to supplement low crop prices with utility- scale solar. Now solar is being used to help the difficult economic shift left by closing coal mines in Colorado.
In Colorado’s Delta County, graduating students could find secure jobs with high pay at one of the three local mines. Yet over the last five years, two of those have gone bankrupt as renewable energy gets cheaper. According to High Country News “Approximately 900 local mining jobs have been lost in the past decade.” Luckily there is a hope for the future with programs like Delta High School’s solar training. Students now have an electrical program along with other trade courses offered by the school. Teacher Ben Graves said “I think we have to be doing some sort of trades education… For a kid with a high school diploma, working service is really all you can do without more training.” The program has been so successful that since 2015 students have designed and installed two solar arrays. “This year for their final project, they will take apart and fully re-install one of the solar arrays.” This hands-on training helps current students prepare for the changing economic realities they face, as well as furthering their interest in school and science. Graves explained, “Teachers at other local schools are keen to integrate solar training into their classes. Solar Energy International, a local nonprofit and a major catalyst behind the Delta class, is working to integrate solar training into science curriculum across the region.” This is wonderful news for other students who will also be entering a changing workforce. As renewable energy continues to become less expensive and positive legislation continues to pass, more mines will close.
It is wonderful to see successful programs like those in Delta County investing in the future and people of the region. At Innovative Solar, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of solar energy development that can help communities like this. If you would like more information about Innovative Solar Systems LLC and our utility-scale solar farm projects, please call 828-424-7884 or visit innovativesolarsystemsllc.com.