NMSU-A Grid Tie for Students
In its development of a Renewable Energy program, NMSU-A is offering certificates of completion in the following areas: “Certificate in Photovoltaic (PV) Entry Level – Grid-Tie”; “Certificate in Advanced Photovoltaic Installation”. One of the goals of the STEM grant is to develop and institutionalize a Renewable Energy Program along with these certificates. NMSU-A key personnel and instructors have put together a program proposal and hope to see it move into NMSU-A’s Academic Council soon.
As NMSU-A moves forward with its Renewable Energy Program, PNM Resources Foundation (PNM) has provided the campus with a grid tie-in that will allow students to connect to the electrical grid when they are commissioning the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems they build.
The tie-in allows power to come directly from the grid to the Alternative Energy program’s newly constructed learning canopy, behind the NMSU-A campus’ Tays Center Renewable Energy lab. Students will learn how to connect the PV system to the grid in accordance with the National Electrical Code. The canopy, built with funds from the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) grant at NMSU-A, is a learning tool on which students can practice actual installation of photovoltaic systems, as they would on a home or other building.
NMSU-A is the only school in NM to have the ability to connect to the grid for training. Students participating in the Renewable Energy program will be able to actually see the PV system generating power onto the grid and watch the meter run backwards as it does so. “That is why we install PV systems – to reduce the amount of energy you have to pay for,” says instructor, Clay Blevins.
There are 4 specific courses being offered this spring: ET 125, TCEN 111, TCEN 112, & TCEN 121.