Donation provides students with hands-on training for future careers in renewable energy
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 1, 2022)–Kirkwood Community College has received a donation of approximately 330 solar panels from a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC. The solar panels and test equipment will be incorporated into the curriculum for Kirkwood’s Energy Production and Distribution Technologies program and will provide students with hands-on training opportunities in solar panel testing, system design and equipment installation. The donation from NextEra Energy Resources is part of a larger relationship with Kirkwood and its energy program.
“The equipment donation and supporting expertise and training provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to work with industry professionals and practice the valuable skills needed to enter this growing career field,” said Kirkwood Assistant Professor of Energy Production and Distribution Tim Arnold. “The additional resources will allow us to create new and exciting hands-on training activities in the field of photovoltaics and help ensure that the program can continue to expand and adjust to the needs of the industry as it evolves. I’m very excited about what the future has to offer.”
The Energy Production and Distribution Technologies program is a two-year training program designed to prepare students to work in the renewable energy field. Graduates undergo extensive training in electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic fundamentals before focusing on the practical application of these skills in the areas of wind energy and photovoltaic system maintenance.
“We are pleased to partner with Kirkwood Community College and donate these solar panels to their renewable energy and distribution program,” said Kimberly Dickey, NextEra Energy Resources project director. “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.”
In addition to the solar panels, NextEra Energy Resources is providing other hardware that will help students measure electric currents. The company is also providing renewable energy trainers, which are computer-integrated lab systems that provide demonstrations of how wind and solar can work together with batteries to deliver clean, reliable energy.
NextEra Energy Resources has been helping fuel Iowa’s economic growth since 1999, investing more than $2 billion in the state’s economy. NextEra Energy Resources, through its affiliates, currently owns and operates 11 wind energy centers, as well as a service and repair facility in the state. In addition, Duane Arnold Solar and Duane Arnold Solar II, wholly owned indirect subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources, are developing innovative solar projects in Linn County.
About Kirkwood Community College
With the most credit programs of any community college in Iowa, Kirkwood Community College boasts more than 17,000 annual college-credit students, while maintaining one of the lowest tuitions in the state. All students are eligible for federal financial aid and the college offers more than $3 million in scholarships each year to students from all walks of life. Kirkwood is a convenient, innovative and visionary educational leader that strives to remain affordable and accessible.
About NextEra Energy Resources, LLC
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC (together with its affiliated entities, “NextEra Energy Resources”) is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 24,600 megawatts of total net generating capacity, primarily in 38 states and Canada as of year-end 2021. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun based on 2021 megawatt hours produced on a net generation basis, and a world leader in battery storage. The business operates clean, emissions-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire and Wisconsin as part of the NextEra Energy nuclear fleet. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.