AEC’s Largest Customer to date, BARC Electric Cooperative Recognized by Interstate Renewable Energy Council with national award for Virginia’s first community solar project

Last summer our installation crew helped make BARC’s Community Solar Project a sucess by installing the 550 kW solar array for participating co-op members, and renovating classrooms for a brand new Solar Education Center for local students.  This Year BARC was recognized for their achievement in Community Solar.  Take a look at this article to learn how BARC Electric organized the first community solar project in Virginia and their national award for their outstanding creativity in the renewable energy industry.





Photos provided by BARC Electric Cooperative

New Solar Photovoltaic Systems Class at CVCC

New Solar Photovoltaic Systems Class at CVCC

Affordable Energy Concepts recently finished installing the new Solar Education Lab at Central Virginia Community College.  As part of their Energy Technology program students can now have hands-on solar education taught by one of our very own installers, Alex.


The number of US jobs in the solar industry has more than doubled since 2012, now employing around 260,000 people!  To prepare for the solar industry’s continued rapid growth, AEC has partnered with CVCC to prepare the upcoming Virginia work force with the necessary skills to succeed in providing clean energy for the future.  The class will equip students with the integrated understanding and of astronomy, energy science, physics, electricity, geography, mathematics, economics, finance, and sales needed to be successful in any facet of the solar job market.  With three different solar system wiring configurations in the lab, students will have hands-on understanding and practice wiring micro-inverters, string inverters, and off-grid battery storage systems according to National Electric Code standards.

CVCC inside

The course is open to anyone interested in learning about solar power, and provides an essential class to CVCC’s Energy Technology Certificate Program.  CVCC plans to make the NABCEP Associates Certification exam available to students.  The course will begin in the fall semester on Monday and Wednesday nights each week with 3 Saturday field trips to visit and service some local solar arrays.  More information on how to register can be found on the CVCC Website linked here: outside

AEC is currently working on solar classrooms at two other local schools and in conversation with multiple school systems.  Solar education is important to us!  To learn more about the possibility for a solar classroom at your school or reducing your electric bill at home or work with solar power please give us a call.    434-929-1166



Solar Success: How One Lynchburg Business Went Green

AEC had one of its many satisfied customers featured in Business insights & Resources section of Opportunity Lynchburg.

“Solar Success: How One Lynchburg Business Went Green

Posted by: Lynchburg EDA on Nov 14, 2016 3:00PM


BMS Direct in Lynchburg, Virginia has been built on progressive technology and state-of-the-art equipment since its beginning. Therefore, you might expect that the organization has adopted solar power into its facility. However, BMS actually supplemented 45% of its total energy usage with renewable energy technologies. In less than three months since installing a solar system, BMS has generated 83,000 kilowatt hours of energy with the system.

When BMS switched to renewable energy, their bottomline significantly improved. Not only has the company reduced its carbon footprint, they also saved over $3,000 per month. James LaPrade, President of BMS, remains proud of his decision to go solar. After diligent research and number crunching, LaPrade reasoned that a solar power investment that made sense both physically and fiscally. With 722 panels installed on the rooftop and a facility entirely lit by LED lights, BMS expects to break even on installation costs in just two years.

Some businesses shy away from renewable energy due to misconceptions about steep upfront costs and reliability of systems. However, BMS dispels solar energy skepticism with energy-saving success. Between tax credits, supplemented energy consumption, and additional savings, the benefits outweigh the upfront costs of investing solar energy solutions.”



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