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MCC Starts New Green Energy Program

Some local students are getting the chance to learn all about green energy. It's part of a new and unique program being offered at MCC.

Outside of MCC's Applied Technologies Center, is a new building being put up by students.
It's not your average set-up.  This training center is designed to test out the latest green technologies. 

"It incorporates a couple of wind turbines, some photovoltaic panels, and a solar thermal system, so that entire structure is all self-sustaining incorporating all those technologies into it," says Kevin French.  He is the Department Chair for Applied Technologies at MCC.

A $225,000 grant from NYSERDA helped fund the Solar Thermal Auxiliary Resource Center, also called STAR.  The idea is to give students some hands on experience.
French says, "we're not advocating any single one technology but we're showing them how you can marry a bunch of different technologies together in giving them many additional skill sets." 

The program is being offered next semester.  There are 30 spots available and already more than half are filled.  Ashley Smith and Michael Mance are already signed up. 
Smith says, "that's where it's going in the future and there are very limited people who are doing that now.  That's where it's headed."  Mance adds, "there's a lot of different technologies involved and to me it's exciting just to be involved in it."

Once students complete the program at MCC, they can then take an exam to become a certified solar technician and installer and MCC is unique because it's the only place in the state where you can do that and one of only four community college in the country to offfer it.

French says, "it really put mcc on the map in a big way and we are known now as a leader in something we really didn't even have a footprint in a couple of years ago."

Working towards a green future one building at a time.

To learn more about how you can register for the program, click here.  The new semester starts in January.

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