College Powers Solar Jobs with Renewable Energy Park

Renewable Energy Park

The Renewable Energy Park will be located at the Rockville Campus. Rendering by Shorieh Talaat.

The College is building a first-of-its-kind Renewable Energy Park at the Rockville Campus that will provide both theoretical and practical training in wind and solar technology, not only to Montgomery College students, but also to the greater community.

The outdoor classroom enables students to learn valuable skills that are currently in demand in Maryland—and beyond. The park will provide a platform for teaching the installation of solar arrays in multiple configurations. The facility provides a variety of mounting platforms that mirror commercial, industrial, and residential applications. A wind turbine pad provides training and instruction in operation and installation of this renewable technology. The facility also houses a small carport and charging station for the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle that is part of the automotive technologies program.

What started as a campus teaching facility evolved into a venue for community engagement and education. In addition to the community at large, the College welcomes partners in the public schools to use the park as a teaching tool to expand awareness of approaches to sustainable design and implementation.

Faculty, staff, and other stakeholders drafted the initial criteria for the proposed facility. Partners from local industry, the College administration, and faculty and staff members collaborated extensively, donating time, talent, and expertise to realize the final design.

The significant need for qualified employees at companies engaged in renewable energy led to the development of the park. College Dean of Applied Technologies Ed Roberts says, “Last year, Montgomery County had more than 900 solar jobs, making the county the largest employer in Maryland. In an industry on the upswing, Montgomery College will help increase the number of trained installers and service technicians.”

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