February 11, 2010
Dear Friend of Idaho State University,
At Idaho State University, we care about keeping the world around us clean and safe for future generations.
That's one of the reasons we were thrilled to hear that Idaho State University's Energy Systems Technology and Education Center (ESTEC) will receive $1.5 million in funding to create a new nine-month renewable energy technician program. Students completing the program will be certified as renewable energy technicians. With additional classes, they can receive an Associate of Applied Science degree in wind engineering or mechanical engineering technology, or pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.
ESTEC will start offering the renewable energy program in fall 2011.
It's just the sort of program that ESTEC was created to offer. Since its inception in 2007, students at ESTEC have been training for careers in wind, solar and hydroelectric power as part of a collaborative effort between Idaho State University's College of Technology, Idaho National Laboratory, private industry and the non-profit agency Partners for Prosperity.
Students entering programs like these will be well prepared for the future as our nation's focus on clean and sustainable energy.
The College of Technology offers several opportunities for students to help them become sought after in the emerging energy industries, and in other fields looking to go green as well.
The College recently received more than $130,000 in grant funding through the U.S. Department of Labor's Green Jobs Program to buy new, modern diesel training systems for our Diesel/On-Site Power Generation Technology program. The new training equipment will help students enter the workforce with better knowledge of "clean power" technology.
In the field of research, ISU faculty, along with researchers throughout the state, are continuing work on a five-year, $15 million grant to study climate change and its impact on the Snake and Salmon River watersheds.
At the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), researchers from ISU are working with scientists from other universities and the Idaho National Laboratory on projects that could someday provide answers to our increasing need for energy security. At CAES, scientists are doing cutting-edge research from nuclear energy technology to projects that could change the way we build solar panels in the future.
Along with creating new technology and providing information for the next generation of energy researchers and technicians, ISU strives to offer energy efficiency in its facilities. The new ISU- Meridian Health Science Center was designed, remodeled and constructed with energy-efficiency in mind. Energy-saving features include occupancy sensors that control lighting in classrooms and offices, high-efficiency exit signs and heat pumps, high-performance windows, and variable speed drives which regulate the amount of power needed to operate the building at designated times.
The savings from these upgrades is substantial — the annual energy savings is enough to power approximately 12 average-sized homes in Idaho. In December, Idaho Power presented the University with a check for $21,858 for using energy-efficient features in construction.
In everything we do, it's important to keep the future in mind. Here at ISU, we're not only doing our part to make the world better for our grandchildren, but helping our students to learn to do the same.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University