On Thursday, March 9, 2017, BITHGROUP Technologies, Inc. and Bithenergy, Inc. hosted thirty-five students and two teachers from the Western School of Technology and Environmental Science on a full day field trip to learn more about Maryland’s robust solar industry. 

Starting out in West Baltimore at Chimes International, an organization that supports people with disabilities and special needs, the students had the opportunity to tour a completed solar panel installation.  This installation consists of three roof-mount solar installations (225KW), an onsite solar ground array (700 KW), as well as an energy monitoring system that tracks energy usage, visible in the Chimes lobby.  At Chimes, the students also had the opportunity to meet with the President of Chimes, Mr. Terence Blackwell, and they learned more about Chimes and the impact of this renewable energy project. 

Later the students visited the Nixon’s Farm installation in Howard County, where they observed and discussed larger solar installations and their impact on the community and environment.  This installation includes a 1.5 MW Ground Mount Solar array that provides energy to Chimes and a 2 MW Ground Mount array that provides power to the Columbia Association of Howard County. 

The field trip concluded with an industry overview and company specific presentation in an office environment which exposed the students to the many career opportunities and other facets in the industry.  The students learned about Energy Audits, Commissioning, LEED Certifications, Power Purchase Agreements, Solar Renewable Energy Projects and Renewable Energy Project Financing.  The students also engaged in discussion with Bithenergy staff about how we can all change our behaviors at home to be more environmentally responsible. 

Finally, the students learned about how various engineering disciplines, such as chemical, electrical, civil, mechanical, environmental, mathematical and business areas such as accounting, finance, marketing, management, can all be utilized to work in an industry in which they can build a strong career while also engaging in improving the environment.  The students asked insightful questions and demonstrated a strong foundational knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math. 

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