CCC Unveils Energy Technology Program

April 22, 2019

Wind Turbine at CCC-HastingsCentral Community College has announced the creation of an energy technology (ETEC) program at its Hastings Campus.

The program has been in the works for several years, but it received renewed vigor in January 2017 when the 432-foot, $4 million, 1.7-megawatt commercial-scale wind turbine went online at CCC-Hastings.

Students in the ETEC program will study core aspects of renewable energy technology and system design and sizing. The curriculum will also include courses in wind energy, solar power, battery storage system design and energy efficiency technology.

“The energy technology program will provide students with needed skills in a growing industry with great job opportunities in wind, solar and a rapidly growing technology in battery storage,” said CCC-Hastings President Bill Hitesman. “The uniqueness of battery storage in this program will give students the latest skill sets in this fast-growing segment of sustainable energy. This is an exciting new program for CCC.”

Other instructional resources include two smaller wind turbines and a series of solar panels that were installed on the Hastings Campus in recent years.

“We are excited to begin offering the energy technology program as industry needs continue to grow and additional job opportunities are developed,” said Dr. Nate Allen, dean of instruction for skilled and technical sciences. “The technology is changing so rapidly, especially in the area of battery storage. Our curriculum will allow us to adapt as the technology evolves.”

ETEC graduates will be prepared to enter the field as installation or maintenance technicians in the areas of renewable energy such as photovoltaic or passive solar, wind turbine technology or battery storage system design.

Courses will be available starting in the fall 2019 semester.

CCC is also pleased to announce that Taylor Schneider has been appointed as the ETEC instructor. Schneider brings a wealth of experience to the position, having served as a wind turbine technician for Colorado-based Nextera Energy and as a wind turbine erector for Blattner Energy in Texas. He also has experience as a heavy equipment mechanic and solar system builder.

A CCC student since 2018, Schneider is working towards an associate degree in drafting and design technology-architecture. While in the U.S. Army, he underwent advanced individual training in construction equipment repair. Schneider is currently a member of the Nebraska National Guard.

“I am very excited to be taking on the role as the first energy technology instructor for Central Community College,” said Schneider. “When I began studying drafting at CCC, I told my instructors about my wind energy experience and they strongly encouraged me to apply. My family and I are pleased and happy to be a part of the CCC family and I look forward to growing the interest of renewable energy in this area of Nebraska.”

Schneider will be based at the Hastings Campus and will begin his employment on May 1.