Christina T. Hill
Communications and Marketing Manager
The Center for Energy Education
October 20, 2020
Roanoke Rapids, NC – The Center for Energy Education (C4EE) celebrated SolarFEST 2020 on October 15, 2020, outdoors under their Solar Pavilion to commemorate its fourth anniversary.
Located in Halifax, NC, the C4EE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and a center for renewable energy research, education, and workforce development for the eastern United States. The Center provides a place to raise awareness of renewable energy and its importance locally, regionally, and globally.
October is the anniversary of the C4EE’s grand opening in 2017. Every year, this occasion is celebrated with SolarFEST activities and new exhibit openings. In addition to the “Flip the Switch” ceremony for the C4EE Solar Tracker at SolarFEST on October 15, 2020, this year is the launch of a brand new look for the Center’s website (center4ee.org), and the introduction of the new C4EE office in Columbus, Ohio.
During the SolarFEST event, approximately 30 people gathered to celebrate the Center’s accomplishments.
The outdoor event followed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines.
The keynote speaker for the event was Jamilla Hawkins, Community Outreach and Public Information Officer for NC Pandemic Recovery Efforts.
Hawkins began her address by showing gratitude to community members and organizations who see others’ needs during this pandemic and make efforts to help.
“There is a multitude of heroes in North Carolina; people who are stepping up and making sure that peoples’ needs are met,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins mentioned relief funds available through the State for businesses and residents in need of financial assistance due to COVID-19.
The event concluded with Instructor Jason Bone, Industrial Systems Department Head for Halifax Community College, and Dr. Walter Lowe, Physics Professor at Howard University, introducing the new C4EE Solar Tracker System that they worked to install and activate.
“The tracker is estimated to cover 50% of the annual energy needs for the C4EE,” said Instructor Bone.
The tracker will decrease the Center’s annual energy bill and provide workforce training opportunities for the community.
Dr. Lowe spoke about the industry research that will be conducted using the tracker.
The Center has accomplished a lot in only four years. The staff has grown from two to seven employees. Workforce development and K-12 STEM Programs have expanded from North Carolina to now include the states of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Virginia, resulting in over 700 students educated in summer programs.
Over 1,300 K-12 students have visited the Center to learn about renewable energy and climate change. With the Teaching Tomorrow’s Scientists and Engineers program, over 190 school teachers have been trained to incorporate solar education into their classroom lesson plan.
In North Carolina, the Center is proud to have graduated over 180 local residents from the Solar Construction and OSHA 10 training course and over 170 Public Officials from North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia have attended the C4EE Solar 101 Workshop on economics.
“We believe that the work that we do here at C4EE empowers everyone to participate in an industry that is growing at a rapid pace. It’s amazing that our reach into communities continues to increase in this virtual space even during Covid-19,” said Mozine Lowe, Executive Director for the C4EE.
Looking forward, the Center will remain a space where education, research, industry innovation, business engagement, and demonstration of solar energy combine to demonstrate excellence in renewable energy as well as create economic growth. The C4EE will continue to inspire learning, discovery, and imagination about renewables in people of all ages.
For more information about educational programs offered by the Center for Energy Education for all ages, visit www.center4ee.org.