Kalamazoo Valley Community College's (KVCC) wind turbine technician academy is accepting applications for its second set of 26-week courses, slated to start June 1. The academy is now able to increase its capacity for training the workforce as a result of a $550,000 appropriation in the latest federal budget.
Additional program support is coming via a collaboration with the Michigan firm of Crystal Flash Renewable Energy LLC, which will allow academy trainees to work with professional wind turbine technicians as active participants in both preventive and corrective maintenance.Â
Crystal Flash Renewable Energy owns two wind turbines in Mackinaw City, Mich.
The federal funds will be used to purchase specialized equipment for the academy. KVCC's program is certified by the Bildungszentrum fur Erneuerebare Energien, a Germany-based group that provides training for wind turbine technicians in Europe and Asia.
The program provides graduates with multi-craft credentials that are sought after by the wind industry for the construction, operation and maintenance of utility-size wind turbines, according to KVCC.
In related news, KVCC will offer a course on how to design a wind turbine. The course will teach students how to fabricate turbine components and assemble the power-generating unit in order for the turbine to produce electricity.
The eight-credit, multidisciplinary offering with a lecture-lab format is open to 18 enrollees on a first-come, first-served basis. No technical prerequisites or prior knowledge of computer-aided drafting, machining, welding or electrical technology is needed.
The enrollees perform the basic functions and tasks in the design, critical machining and welding phases that produce shafts, blades and other components, but the more detailed and complex jobs are handled by the instructors and advanced students.Â
Courses will be held at KVCC's technical wing on the Texas Township Campus. The 2010 fall semester begins Sept. 7.
Meanwhile, planning has been under way to permanently locate and commission the two turbines that were the products of the first classes. The sites will be in the vicinity of the 145-foot turbine in operation on the west end of the Texas Township Campus.
SOURCE: Kalamazoo Valley Community College Â