HCC gets decommissioned turbine for students & community - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

HCC gets decommissioned turbine for students & community


Highland Community College wind program gets a big donation in more ways than one. It received a decommissioned wind turbine for it's technician training program. The HCC instructors say it is not easy to get their hands on turbines for students to practice on, so they are very excited to get their students working on their newest acquisition.

"It allows them a step up on the average person just coming in because the manufacturer knows the hands on portion of it allows them greatest success with it," says David Vrtol, Wind Turbine Technology Instructor.

Highland's wind turbine technician program just got it's newest piece of equipment in from California. The company Airstreams Renewables donated a $40-thousand decommissioned turbine for the students to practice on. It's a big deal for the school because now they have three and can use this one not only for students to practice on, but also to help educate the area on wind energy.

"We are making this very mobile, we will put this on a trailer so we can take it to other places to demonstrate and get some awareness but it will be fully functional, we'll just pop the hood back off it and students can tear into it," says Scott Anderson, Dean of Business & Technology.

"It's always exciting to add one more piece to the program and the ultimate reward is how the students react to it and start to work on this," says Vrtol.

Besides the turbine, the school learned it received national accreditation. It is only one of nine others in the country to get the American Wind Energy Association Seal of Approval.

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