The Renewable Energy program gives students skillsets in site evaluation, installation, servicing, and system modeling of Photovoltaic, Wind Turbine, Solar Thermal, and Geo-Thermal systems. Students also develop communication skills needed to communicate with inspectors as well as co-workers and customers in a professional manner.
The Renewable Energy program supplies local industries with knowledgeable technicians who can design, specify, and install appropriate renewable energy equipment and the systems that regulate and control that equipment. The certificate is aligned with the green energy and sustainability management sector, which needs professionals with a broad skill set focused on sustainability, as well as technical capabilities. The certificate can help students build additional skills in such areas as project development, sustainability assessment, systems engineering and strategic planning.
Hands-on laboratories, in areas such as electricity and electronics, and CAD prepare the students to be "work ready".
Renewable Energy installers are in high demand. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, by 2040, 63 percent of the nation's electricity will be generated by lower-carbon options, including 16 percent from renewables. This shift will result in double-digit demand for sustainability specialists, planners, and installation workers. Graduates can expect to earn an average of $13 – $18 per hour, depending on their geographic region, and their willingness to travel to large project installations. Prospective employers in the region include Mountain View Solar, Milestone Solar, Millennium 3 Energy (MD), and Geostellar.
Note: All salary estimations are based on current position and educational trends. Blue Ridge Community and Technical College cannot guarantee that the projections given will be the salaries students or graduates will ultimately receive.