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ATC starts new renewable energy program

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - While opportunities in the solar energy field continue growing in our area, Albany Technical College (ATC) announced a new program to get students trained.

Lisa Harrell, the dean of academic affairs, said the Renewable and Alternative Energy Program took about three years to come to light.

Lisa Harrell, the dean of academic affairs
Lisa Harrell, the dean of academic affairs(WALB)

“Everywhere you turned in the country, there’s solar fields, so solar is growing tremendously. Not only the big solar fields, but solar on residential and businesses,” said Harrell.

The program will teach students the ins and outs of electrical wiring and maintenance to generate solar and wind power.

Harrell said their focus is electrical power and solar, but they do also cover wind energy.

Instructor Dr. Chedly YahYa said students will also train outside to get a feel for working on homes and businesses.

Dr. Chedly YahYa, program instructor at Albany Technical College
Dr. Chedly YahYa, program instructor at Albany Technical College(WALB)

“Students will learn about typical faults in the system and how to troubleshoot and identify which component is the fault of the system,” said Dr. YahYa.

MetroPower in Albany is one of the companies offering positions in electrical and solar.

NextEra is another potential employer. Right now, they’re working to get their permit from the Lee County Commission.

Steve Smith, a consultant for NextEra, said they hope to bring more than 300 jobs to the area.

Steve Smith, consultant for NextEra
Steve Smith, consultant for NextEra(WALB)

“We are very delighted that Albany Technical College has the type of program now that will serve not only the service area but will produce the type of technicians that will be really ready for the workforce,” said Smith.

The course takes about a year and a half to complete. You can take day and/or evening courses.

ATC said the program starts and is available this semester.

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