Western Technical College in Independence is hosting a ribbon-cutting event on Friday, Oct. 7 to celebrate an industry partnership with Dairyland Power Cooperative. A brief ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the site of a new solar generation project near the campus, at 36084 Walnut St. An indoor reception will follow.
The solar project will provide instructional opportunities and generate energy for Western’s facility. The four newly installed photovoltaic solar arrays feature a total of 36 panels, which will produce an estimated 16,000 kWh of energy per year. Western staff will be able to monitor the total and hourly output, the environmental benefits delivered, temperatures, voltage, power, and current metrics. Students in programs related to electronics and energy management will use this data as part of their curriculum and will learn the basics of solar array installation and maintenance.
“This unique industry partnership allows Western to extend the learning opportunities for our students while meeting the growing need for solar technicians in our district,” said Patti Balacek, dean of Workforce and Development at Western. “It also demonstrates the commitment Dairyland has made to helping grow the next generation of workers.”
“We are delighted to partner on a project that will assist in the education and training of the workforce well into the future,” said Brian Rude, Dairyland Power Cooperative’s vice president of External and Member Relations. “In addition to ensuring that students will continually train on new technology, this solar array will hold down Western’s energy costs at the Independence location.”
The public is invited to learn more about the project during this free event.
For more information about programs and services at Western, call 608-785-9200.