Campus News

Kirkwood to receive over 300 solar panels in donation

NextEra Energy Resources donation to provide hands-on training for Kirkwood students

Kirkwood Community College’s Energy Production and Distribution Technologies program recently received a donation of approximately 330 solar panels from NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The panels are aimed at helping the college’s Energy Production and Distribution Technologies (renewable energy) program build, install, repair and test equipment.  

This will bring a new aspect to the two-year renewable energy program that teaches students about solar panels and wind turbines and how to work on them. This is part of a partnership between the college and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. to teach the next generation how to work on renewable energy resources.  

Kirkwood’s Energy Production and Distribution Technologies Assistant Professor Tim Arnold emphasized the benefits of the partnership. “The equipment donation and supporting expertise and training provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to work with industry professionals and practice the valuable skills needed to enter this growing career field,” said Arnold.* 

He added, “The additional resources will allow us to create new and existing hands-on training activities in the field of photovoltaics and help ensure that the program can continue to expand and adjust to the need of the industry as it evolves. I’m very excited about what the future has to offer.”*

NextEra Energy Resources Project Director Kimberly Dickey agreed with Arnold on the importance of renewable energy and the program at Kirkwood.  

“We are pleased to partner with Kirkwood …,” Dickey said. “Renewable energy is a leading source of American job creation and the hands-on training students will receive from working with the panels will help them as they advance their future career paths in renewable energy.”*

With the solar panels, NextEra Energy Resources is providing other hardware that will help students measure the electric current. The company will also help provide training, an integrated lab system and more to help train students in solar energy.  

The program is planning on incorporating the solar panels into their curriculum in a later semester.

* Quotes attributable to a press release from Kirkwood Community College.

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