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Sierra College Unveils Student Installed Solar Array Project

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Steve Geiger with solar arrayThe Sierra College Environmental Studies & Sustainability Department’s Energy Technology Program will unveil the college’s most recent expansion to its renewable energy portfolio on March 20th.  A student built solar array composed of 99 panels that provides nearly 18,000 watts of energy production and would have an installed value of nearly $100,000.  The array was built over the last three years as part of the Advanced Solar Installation class projects.  Over 50 students participated in this project that provides commercial level hands-on experience for students in the Energy Technology Program.

The project itself was done as part of an ongoing unique partnership between the educational and operations divisions of the college.   The facilities division was integrally involved in the design of the program and provided technical expertise and infrastructure support while the students designed and installed the system.  The system was financed through a number of sources including Sierra College, Federal Perkin’s Grant funding as well as funds from an Industry Driven Regional Collaborative (IDRC) Grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

The Energy Technology Program was begun as a result of collaboration between Sierra College and the City of Roseville through an IDRC grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.  The program was developed in consultation with local and national industry leaders as well as support from public organizations including The North State Builders Industry Association and the Nevada County Economic Resources Council.  The Energy Technology Program was awarded the 2009 Public Sector Award by the Placer County Economic Development Board and the Environmental Studies & Sustainability Program was awarded the 2011 Sierra Business Council Vision Award.  For more information please contact Michael Kane, Associate Dean at (916) 660-7902 or

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