Not many students go to class 100 feet or more in the air, but those enrolled in the Lakeshore Technical College Wind Energy Associate Degree program do just that.
Practical experience in installing, maintaining and even rescuing people is gained on a wind turbine that was installed on the Cleveland, Wisconsin, campus in 2004. Students also do internships with a variety of commercial wind turbine companies around the country.
More turbines are in the pipeline for LTC, which, as of August 2008, was one of eight schools training people in wind energy technology in the country.
The LTC program is four semesters and a summer internship long. It currently has almost 40 students and the class for fall 2010 has a waiting list. “It has really mushroomed in the last 18 months or so,” said Doug Lindsey, dean of trade and industry, agriculture, and apprenticeship. “When we first started working in the area in 2003, we could not find a market.
“We put the turbine up in part to produce some of our own energy on campus (an estimated 3 percent of the campus electrical energy needs) and as a demo site. But, things have changed.”
Photo source: Lakeshore Technical College