Wind Power Class | VideoJennifer Joas | 9/5/2012
Standing two stories high in the BSC National Energy Center of Excellence, a mock wind tower provides a training opportunity for students looking to get into wind energy.
"We can only cover so much theory in class and without them operating the equipment and using it first hand, it would be very difficult for them to comprehend what goes into using the equipment, some of the physical restraints and some of the skills that they will have to develop," said Renewable Power Generation Assistant Professor Reynold Miller.
Miller teaches a renewable power generation class which prepares students for a career in wind development. Nine students make up this year`s class, and one of them is hoping this will be a stepping stone to his future goals.
"After I get done with that, I hope to go back to school to be an engineer. So this is just to get a job, start making money so I can afford school again," said student Joseph Brown.
Although some wind farm companies are feeling uneasy with the production tax credit expiring this year, Miller says his students are not concerned about finding a job.
"I don`t think there`s too much worry about having a secure job. With the turbines that are up, they will be up for many many years and I think we`re seeing pretty good growth still with some of the wind farms that are already in existence in North Dakota," Miller said.
"It`s really young science and it`s not a big energy producer yet. But it will be one day, hopefully. So having some experience in this kind of gives me more job security, I have more options," Brown said.
Students learned how to inspect all the equipment, climb with the equipment and rescue an injured climber from the tower.
Miller says the program aims to set a foundation for students so that after completion, they will be more prepared for the specific company training.