Renewable Energy Technology Program Details

Renewable Energy Technology is a five term AAS program that provides students conceptual and hands-on training in technology and practices used in the growing fields of electrical, electronic and renewable energy. This program is designed to prepare technicians with the skills to support, explain, and troubleshoot a wide variety of electrical projects pertaining to solar power. Students learn about the production, storage and distribution of electrical energy from a variety of traditional and renewable energy sources.

A growing demand for climate-friendly sources of energy - from the sun, from the wind - translates into jobs. Consider:

  • Clean energy jobs in Iowa have doubled since 2015.
  • Iowa’s 5,000+ wind turbines generate 40% of the state’s electricity – the highest share of any state - and produce more than 9,000 jobs.
  • Demand for renewable energy continues to grow.​
  • There aren’t enough skilled workers to fill available jobs.
  • Average starting salary in renewable energy: $46,000. 

DMACC’s new Renewable Energy Technology program positions you to enter this rapidly expanding field. In just two years, you’ll graduate with an AAS degree and diverse skills for a career in renewable energy, communications, biomedical, automation, engineering, and more.


  • Acquire a foundation in electronics engineering technology principles
  • Learn how to use solar energy and design photovoltaic systems
  • Gain experience with commercial and industrial wiring using National Electric Code standards
  • Know how to support, troubleshoot, and repair solar-powered electrical systems

More than book-learning, you’ll get the opportunity for hands-on experience through:

  • Access to DMACC’s new Energy Park, the first of its kind in central Iowa, which ​includes a 100 kilowatt wind turbine, three 25-ft. two-axis tracking solar arrays, and our newest addition – a 2.3 megawatt nacelle
  • Internships providing real-world experience

Best of all, DMACC’s Renewable Energy Technology program qualifies for the Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship for in-demand fields. Learn more about the Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship here.

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy the required assessment by taking the reading and sentence skills ACCUPLACER test or equivalent.
  3. Minimum ALEKS math placement score of 30, or minimum ACT math score of 19, or completion of MAT 063 with a grade of “C” or higher.

DMACC Energy Park

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 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 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.”

DMACC President Rob 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 includes signage that offers some insights and background on the various elements of the Park.