First-of-its-kind in central Iowa, the DMACC Energy Park will complement a new Renewable Energy Program and help power the Ankeny Campus.
DMACC debuts new Energy Park and Expanded Renewable Energy Program on the Ankeny Campus.
MidAmerican Energy donates a 2.3-megawatt nacelle to the College for training and display.
DMACC announces major commitment to Renewable Energy.
Wind and the new Renewable Energy Technology Programs are accepting student applications for fall.
College officials debuted a new DMACC Energy Park and Renewable Energy Program today during ceremonies on the Ankeny Campus. The latest addition to the DMACC Energy Park is a recently installed, 2.3-megawatt wind turbine generator nacelle donated by MidAmerican Energy.
“DMACC is taking a giant leap forward in our commitment to renewable energy, both in terms of program offerings for students and using renewable energy to power the College,” said Rob Denson, DMACC President. “American industry is moving in the direction of renewable energy and so is the College. We are especially grateful to MidAmerican for their generous donation of this wind turbine nacelle that students will use in their training and to showcase our new DMACC Energy Park.”
The new Energy Park complements the College’s Renewable Energy and Wind Turbine Technology Programs.
The three-acre site includes an 11-story, 200-Kilowatt active wind turbine, three 25 ft. solar arrays and the new 2.3-megawatt MidAmerican nacelle that was trucked in earlier this month. The 50 ft. long, 185,000-pound nacelle houses all of the generating components of a wind turbine, including a generator, gearbox and main shaft. The equipment comes from the company’s Adair wind farm in Adair and Cass counties, which was repowered last year to increase its generating output and extend its operating life.
The new equipment in the Energy Park will allow DMACC Wind Turbine Technology and Applied Engineering Technology students to get hands-on experience in both maintaining and repairing these large wind turbines and solar energy systems. Unlike DMACC’s current working wind turbine that operates more than 100 feet off the ground, the new MidAmerican components have been set up at ground level.
As part of their training, DMACC students will help build and maintain more solar arrays in the coming years.
“The new DMACC Energy Park is the first-of-kind in central Iowa. While this outdoor lab will provide hands-on training opportunities for our students, the wind and solar energy will also be used to help power the DMACC Ankeny Campus,” said Jenny Foster, Dean of the Industry and Technology Department.
The DMACC Wind Energy Program has been in operation since 2010, but the Renewable Energy Program that emphasizes solar technology is new. Recent advancements in solar technology are making solar more efficient and cost-effective.
DMACC Professor Bryan Burkhardt was recently named its program chair. “A career path in either solar or wind energy offers many advantages to prospective students,” said Burkhardt. “Renewable energy is a growing and dynamic field with many new job opportunities that are personally and professionally rewarding. MidAmerican has been a fabulous partner and very supportive of our program and students.”
MidAmerican is a leader in renewable energy in Iowa, with more than 7,000 megawatts of renewable energy generated from 36 wind projects and 3,341turbines located across Iowa. In 2020, the company was able to deliver 83.6% of the energy its Iowa customers used – including DMACC -- from renewable sources through the GreenAdvantage® program. “DMACC and MidAmerican have a shared vision to grow this important industry. Renewable energy is a competitive advantage for Iowa as more companies seek reliable, sustainable and affordable energy,” said Kathryn Kunert, MidAmerican’s Vice President for Economic Connections and Integration. “We need qualified technicians to operate and maintain Iowa’s wind and solar farms. DMACC’s graduates are helping us maintain sustainable generating sources that will help us achieve our ultimate goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
Denson said another benefit of the DMACC Energy Park is to reduce the College’s carbon footprint. “DMACC has an ongoing program to reduce our carbon emissions. We’ve reduced our energy usage and now the new Energy Park will provide additional clean energy to the College. This will reduce our expenses and help us showcase the benefits of renewable energy.”
The DMACC Energy Park is open to the public and in the coming months will include signage that offers some insights and background on the various elements of the Park. For information on DMACC’s new Renewable Energy Program go to renewable.dmacc.edu.
For more information, contact:
- Bryan Burkhardt, DMACC Renewable Energy Program Chair, (515) 965-7096
- Geoff Greenwood, MidAmerican Energy, 515-281-2516 (office) / 515-229-7690 (mobile)