As the push for alternative energy gains strength around the nation and the world, companies are taking advantage of Wyoming's ample wind resources to develop and produce wind energy. Laramie County Community College recognizes the need to teach and train the workers who will maintain the wind turbines cropping up around the state.
About the Career
Wind Turbine Technicians perform general maintenance, operations and inspections on wind turbines and related facilities. They also perform general and site specific safety awareness, utilize personal protective equipment, conduct electrical troubleshooting, repair and replacement, follow specific lock out/tag out procedures, mechanical/power trains maintenance, hydraulic troubleshooting and demonstrate climbing proficiency. Technicians conduct visual blade inspection and physical blade repair, bolt torque testing and installation and testing of hardware and software and follow specific driving safety guidelines. (Job description from the U.S. Department of Labor.)
About the Program
Associate of Applied Science Degree
The Associate of Applied Science degree in Wind Energy is designed for students who want to gain valuable industry skills while pursuing a basic academic foundation. General education requirements, industrial maintenance knowledge and skills, and specific wind power industry topics are combined to provide the groundwork for direct industry employment.
Associate of Science Degree
The Associate of Science degree in Wind Energy with a concentration in Wind Power Technology is designed for students who want to gain valuable industry skills and a strong academic foundation. General education requirements, industrial maintenance knowledge and skills, and specific wind power industry topics are combined to provide the groundwork for both industry involvement and future academic programs.
- Great job outlook
Wind energy is one of the fastest growing fields today. Wyoming has wind resources capable of utility-scale production, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, but the state also has a shortage of wind technicians.
- State-of-the-art training
We strive for as much hands-on training as possible through the our one-of-a-kind wind energy lab, which offers an operational nacelle, hub and superior climb safety/tower rescue simulator. We follow American Wind Energy Association industry standards.
- Support from the local/state/national community
Turbine maintenance companies such as the AES Corporation, Babcock and Brown, GE Wind, and Energy Maintenance Service have expressed their approval of the program. The college also has received encouragement from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Wyoming Business Council, and Gov. Dave Freudenthal’s Energy and Telecom Advisor, Rob Hurless.
Importance of Wind
Using wind power on a large scale means that less fuel (mainly natural gas and coal) is used for electricity generation, which lowers the price of fuel. If wind were to generate 20% of U.S. electricity by 2030, nationwide use of natural gas use would decline by an estimated 11%, and natural gas consumers (home heating, industrial use) could see savings of $86 billion to $214 billion. This saving alone offsets the incremental investment of $43 billion in wind turbines and additional transmission lines, according to the DOE report on 20% wind by 2030.