GridSTAR Center partners with Philadelphia Solar Schools Initiative

PHILADELPHIA -- The GridSTAR Center announced a collaborative effort with Solar States and the Philadelphia Solar Schools Initiative. As part of a program to teach students about the benefits of solar energy, the GridSTAR Center will host groups from local school districts and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School to visit the hands-on solar energy education center at The Navy Yard in Philadelphia to gain direct experience with the most advanced solar energy technologies.

One of GridSTAR Center’s central missions is to serve as a regional hands-on education and research resource for Smart Grid technologies, policies and business practices. Through collaboration with the Philadelphia Solar Schools Initiative and the shared-use of the “Smart Grid Experience Center,” the center will provide Philadelphia students with a unique learning experience that will help them better understand the value of renewable energy and at the same time, contribute to the creation of solar arrays that will help schools reduce utility bills.

The GridSTAR Center's learning environment includes a Net-Zero Energy Residence built with hyper-efficient modular construction, solar PV/thermal systems integration and a grid interactive 10kWh battery for security and demand response. It also includes a Solar Training Center with a range of solar PV demonstration and training tools, an advanced weather station for data collection and forecasting, and flat and sloped roof training surfaces with permanent and removable demonstration systems. A 125 kWh grid interactive storage system with revenue grade metering and controls, which communicates with PJM for rapid demand response frequency regulation, as well as a Power Purchase Agreements to demonstrate the economic model. Finally, an advanced electric vehicle charging infrastructure allows for the demonstration of a range of EV charging technologies. Each of these elements contributes to a rich educational setting in which students will gain the necessary skills to contribute to the planning and installation of solar arrays on their schools.

The Philadelphia Solar Schools Initiative has partnered with Solar States, Clean Currents, Finanta, SMP Architects and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School to promote rooftop solar energy while educating and training the next generation of green collar workers.

The GridSTAR Center (Grid Smart Training and Application Resource Center) was created to develop and deliver responsive professional and skilled workforce educational programming that is aligned with caliber and pace of the emerging smart grid investments and markets. The GridSTAR Center is coordinated by the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State. For more information, visit

Solar States is a commercial and residential solar developer using solar as a vehicle to promote clean air, education and economic development. Solar States has expertise working with commercial, residential and educational solar installations. 

For more information, visit

Media Contacts: 
Last Updated January 20, 2014