Western Nevada College is offering classes this fall to prepare area residents for sustainable energy systems and solar/wind-generated power, and the timing couldn’t be better.
With Tesla Motors building a “zero footprint” gigafactory in Northwestern Nevada for production of lithium-ion batteries, and their recent acquisition of SolarCity, WNC students can prepare for the jobs that the sustainable energy technology company will bring, with two applicable courses:
ENRG 110 – Solar and Wind begins Tuesday, Aug. 30. Taught by Gary Handelin, an expert in the field, it will cover the theory behind sustainable energy systems, and offer hands-on practice with solar panels and wind-generated power. Students are advised to have a basic understanding of electricity before enrolling in the class, which meets on Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
“This is solid training to prepare to work in any aspect of clean energy, from sales to system installaion,” said Emily Howarth, a professor of Electronics and Industrial Technology at WNC.
ELM 143: Wiring Techniques, begins Tuesday, Sept. 1. An electrical theory class, it will be taught by Handelin on Tuesdays, 12:20 to 2 p.m. It will introduce the basics of electrical wiring, including wire termination, wire sizing, conduit sizing and terminal block installation, and wire splicing. Students will also learn how to read and interpret electrical prints.
Handelin said the skills learned at WNC are applicable to a variety of jobs. including electrical and construction projects. Students taking the course will stay abreast of electrical generation and distribution as it changes to accommodate renewable energy.
Howarth said that both classes can be applied toward an Associate of Applied Science Degree in General Industrial Technology. The classes can also serve as electives in other technology degrees.
Handelin holds a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree.
Tesla plans to produce up to 500,000 lithium-ion batteries for its electric cars by 2020 while using zero net energy. To avoid using energy from the electrical power grid, the plant will be topped with solar panels and the surrounding property will include wind farms.
Handelin said the growing impact of solar energy in Nevada is evident in a number of areas:
- There are more than 108 solar companies at work throughout the value chain in Nevada, employing 5,900 people.
- In 2014, Nevada installed 339 megawatts of solar electric capacity, ranking the state third nationally.
- In 2014, $569 million was invested on solar installations in Nevada. This represents a 427 percent increase over the previous year and is expected to grow again this year.
Fall classes begin Monday, Aug. 29. For details about these classes, phone Howarth at 775-445-3300 or email email@example.com. For information about enrolling in other fall semester classes, phone 775-445-3000 or go to www.wnc.edu.Tech