Empowering education

We connect with our communities by offering hands-on educational opportunities for students to participate in research, internships, and solar training programs.

Real-life stories about how we are fostering education

We’ve put together some case studies highlighting several of our ongoing initiatives to promote education in our communities. Our solar farms provide educational opportunities for local schools and universities, with Lightsource bp providing curriculum support, research opportunities, internships and site tours. We’re also implementing programs to offer solar job training opportunities to interested community members, including making solar jobs accessible to community members most in need.

Funding research in solar

Providing a living laboratory for students

Lightsource bp and Penn State have united to develop a 70-megawatt, utility-scale solar project, enabling Penn State to achieve its goal of a 35% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction by 2020. This mutually beneficial partnership has been leveraged in teaching and research across the university and local communities. To date, Lightsource bp has provided three long-term research grants to Penn State students and faculty.

Solar job training opportunities

Serving underserved communities

Lightsource bp is a corporate sponsor of GRID Alternatives, a nationwide non-profit organization that is making clean, affordable solar power and solar jobs accessible to low-income communities and communities of color. Through this partnership, Lightsource bp sponsored a solar training program for un- and underemployed workers in Pueblo Colorado, with a focus on diversity and inclusion.

Supporting solar apprenticeships

Partnering to build opportunities for veterans

Our Elm Branch Solar project was built with help from 50 Texas veterans completing a free, accredited solar apprenticeship program through Adaptive Construction Solutions .  Through the program, each apprentice builds skill through the combination of on-the-job training, mentorship and technical instruction. The curriculum is designed to help veterans understand and develop the skills and knowledge essential to be successful on construction projects. Graduates of the program will continue working with our EPC contractor for the project, McCarthy Building Companies.

Solar experience from inside to outside the classroom

Developing future leaders in solar

We’re investing in the next generation of leaders by empowering students through hands-on mentorship initiatives such as internships and collaborative projects designed to bring real-world experience into the classroom. Read the below real-life stories about a project with Penn State that transitioned from inside to outside the classroom.

Hands-on learning

Using technology to advance solar

Lightsource bp sponsored a capstone design project through Penn State’s Bernard M. Gordon Learning Factory, a hands-on learning facility for Engineering students. This partnership gave students the opportunity to create a spreadsheet to guide wind and solar developers through the grid interconnection process while receiving mentorship from Lightsource bp team members. The final deliverable resulted in an interactive interconnection guide which can be used by Lightsource bp in evaluating potential sites in Pennsylvania.

Solar teaching resource

We’ve put together a resource pack for teachers to provide lessons on climate change and solar energy, including fun hands-on activities for students.

Discover more

Empowering economic development

Our solar projects help provide stable revenue for landowners as well as create jobs, generate property tax revenue, and bring operating budgets that are primarily spent in the area.

See how we're empowering economic development

Empowering partnerships

Our partnerships allow us to collaborate with other like-minded organizations that share a desire to create a more sustainable, resilient and equitable world for present and future generations.

Read more about our community partnerships