Jobs goal of wind, solar programs

MCCC has opened its door to renewable energy, providing two new certificate programs – Wind and Solar Energy.

Intro to Renewable Energy is one of the first classes in these programs, according to Clifton Brown, assistant professor of Renewable Energy.

The class will discuss the scientific principles of energy, including what energy really is, how we obtain it, and how we use it for our everyday needs.

Another class that is early in the program is Intro to Wind Power.

“This course will go over the basics of wind power. Students will also learn about batteries, electrical grids, zoning, and the politics that go into making turbines and other wind power devices,” Brown said.

A Bergey wind turbine/tower is part of the wind course, according to Brown.

“It took longer than expected to get zoning approval and the basic concrete poured, but now it is ready for the students,” he said.

The wind tower will be installed by students sometime early this semester, Brown said.

Intro to Solar is the third of the introductory courses. It will cover basics like hot water heating and solar photovoltaic electric.

Along with all the hands-on projects within this course, students also will tour the DTE solar farm here on campus.

“We are working to set this up as a Renewable Energy specialization in the existing Electronics two- year Associates Degree,” Brown said.

According to An Open Letter on Clean Energy and Green Jobs from more than 140 Michigan scientists, engineers, economists, and technical and health professionals, Michigan’s has about 250 wind and solar companies.

These companies are currently employing more than 10,000 people across the state.

It also stated that if we were to increase our usage of renewable energy, it would be possible for us to keep $1.4 billion in the state.

That money now is going to import coal, which is not only bad for the environment but for our health as well, according to the letter.