Businesses and corporations providing real-world opportunities for students is a big step towards growing the field and helping students choose the right career path. A group of engineering students from Engineers for a Sustainable World at University of California, Irvine visited nearby Sunpin Solar, a leading utility-scale solar developer and long-term asset owner. The visit was composed of a Lunch and Learn presentation and a solar tour at Sunpin Solar’s 96.75-MW ColGreen North Shore solar project in Riverside County.
Sunpin Solar’s VP of Development and Director of EPC covered the fundamentals of solar energy, the solar project development process, and explored post-graduation options in renewable energy industry for aspiring sustainable engineers.
The cool part to us is the tangible, real-world learning: UC Irvine students learned about the development process from land acquisition, construction to project completion. The presentation also addressed the questions students raised before their visit.
During the site tour, the students were walked through each stage of the solar energy production cycle and learned about the modules, racking systems, inverters, substations, and other equipment used in the process. “As engineering students, we learn about the science behind solar panels but never about the logistics and maintenance of a solar power plant. It gave us a new perspective on solar power,” said Nicole Alvarez, VP External of Engineers for a Sustainable World at UCI.
“Sunpin Solar is proud to be an Irvine-based company and is willing to support local colleges and universities through more educational programs and workforce development initiatives.” states XJ Chen, Sunpin Solar’s VP of Business Development.
— Solar Builder magazine