Cloud County Community College to Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Sun Power Solar Farm

By Toby Nosker
KNCK News Director

Cloud County Community College's Renewable Energy Technology program is planning a groundbreaking for its new energy-generating Sun Power Solar Farm.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m. Those who plan to attend can meet in parking lot four at 9:45 a.m. for a shuttle to the site, which is on the top of the hill south of the college.

Sun Power Solar Farm is part of the new solar energy technology training, which is now being offered at Cloud County under the Renewable Energy field of study. The program is intended to train students to become solar project designers, installers and operation technicians. The solar farm will be designed and built by college Solar Energy students. Solar classes will be offered in Fall 2018, and students will have a hands-on learning opportunity with the operational solar farm.

Cloud County Community College Wind Energy Instructor Andrew Clark is heading the solar program. Clark, originally from Glasco, began his college career at DeVry in Kansas City for Electrical Engineering Technology before transferring to Cloud County Community College for Wind Energy Technology. He returned to Cloud County Community College as a Wind Energy Instructor in August 2017.

Two years ago, Andrew installed 6 kilowatts of solar panels at his home in Beloit. He told KNCK News that when he proposed the idea of adding a solar energy program, the college's administration was tremendously receptive.

The project will consist of up to 300 kilowatts of solar panels installed near the college's wind turbines. The power generated by the panels will help generate clean electrical energy for the college.

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The Cloud County Community College Board of Trustees has agreed to commit $50,000 in matching support to a $100,883 grant award from USDA Rural Development to support the construction of a Solar Energy Farm on the college's Concordia campus.