Pushing advanced programming centered on energy workforce training, Santa Fe Community College may be upgrading and modernizing its energy efficiency training facilities to the tune of $5 million.
That is, if New Mexico voters on November 6 pass the General Obligation Bond D, which will provide just over $136 million in funding for a wide array of higher education facility projects across the state.
The $5 million work on the airy and always-expanding campus of Santa Fe Community College will particularly target the school’s unique microgrid course offerings.
The school is a part of the Microgrid Systems Laboratory consortium, which centers on grid modernization instruction with a goal of reducing what has been called an “energy poverty” in emerging economics.
The MSL collaboration has resulted in the creation of the Building Energy Automation and Microgrid Training Center on the school’s campus, an effort that last year secured around $251,000 in funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
That center is designed to build microgrid energy distribution systems, as well as supplying the energy needs of SFCC’s green house complex, which houses the school’s environmental agriculture program.
SFCC has additionally received the financial backing of the Buffalo Grove, Illinois-based Siemens Industry, one of the largest producers of energy-efficient technologies in the world.
Funding from Bond D will also pay for upgrades to the cooling towers on campus, as well as the planned installation of clear-energy sources.
In 2011, SFCC saw the completion of its $12 million, 45,300 square foot Trades and Advanced Technology Center designed to offer classes in photovoltaics, biofuels, and energy and building efficiency.
By Garry Boulard
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