Developing a 21st Century Training Program in the Florida Keys for Renewable Alternative Energy Technology: Wind, Solar and Tidal Power

The need for sustainable, clean, renewable alternative energy is well grounded, as well as the need to establish renewable alternative energy production technologies (e.g. wind and solar power) and increase exploration of new technologies like tidal power. With increasing demands for "solar and wind" jobs, the training needed to create the workforce necessary to sustain the rapid expansion and transition to these new energy production technologies is also needed. Florida Keys Community College (FKCC) is ideally located in one of the sunniest, windiest and tidal energy rich cities in the US. This project at FKCC will lead to the development of an Associate in Science degree for Engineering Technology that will focus on training Alternative Energy Technicians and conducting research to foster wind, solar and tidal energy technologies locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. As FKCC trains the 21st Century workforce for green energy, conducts research to harness the surrounding renewable energy resources and develops a global network devoted to fostering the renewable energy industry, the Engineering Technology Alternative Energy Technicians (ET-AET) program will be at the epicenter. 

The proposed two year training and research program will join a network of other regional engineering technology programs that will maximize transferability while using unique research opportunities as a training tool for wind, solar and tidal energy. The College has extraordinary infrastructure that makes it perfectly suited for renewable energy training, including a 17,000 square meter lagoon that will be used as a tidal energy simulation laboratory (TESLA). The TESLA facility will allow FKCC to participate in ground breaking tidal energy research by testing prototype tidal energy devices in a controlled yet natural marine environment. The program will include multiple industry certifications and be highlighted by a capstone industry internship that will provide valuable "real world" skills combined with paid professional experience and job placement opportunities. The program partners include a host of national and international renewable alternative energy experts and promises to provide state-of-the-art technology and opportunities for developing global networks, all while fostering the transition from fossil fuels to green energy.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
August 15th, 2016
ATE Expiration Date
July 31st, 2022
ATE Principal Investigator
Patrick Rice
Primary Institution
Florida Keys Community College
Record Type
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