"We have a two-year degree program called Clean Energy, and this will be a great add-on to that," says Lynn Vosler, director of workforce development for Front Range.
The first of the three technical courses, "Introduction to Smart Grid Power Technologies," provides an overview of the elements of a smart grid, examines the critical role of information technology and telecommunications, and assesses the limitations and constraints of the existing power grid.
The course instructor is Conwell Dickey, former director of Front Range's
Clean Energy Program.
Currently, the course is a non-credit, continuing education program rather than a degree credit course, but that may change, Vosler
"We will run the pilot, and then it does take awhile to get course approved for credit in the community college system," she
says, noting that a non-credit program, however, can be often updated more quickly, allowing it to stay abreast of technology changes more easily.
says the three technical courses are "for people working with smart meters, and utility and city office people who are dealing with customers."
The professional courses, she
said, will be targeted to current grid engineers and new electrical engineering graduates who are entering the industry.
They should begin next September.
To offset the $950 price tag for the first course, the State Energy Sector Partnership
is providing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to train up to 200 Coloradans in the emerging technology in which Colorado is quickly taking a lead.
and its partners are not certain the course is the first in the nation, but, says Vosler
, "From other courses we have looked at, these are more in depth than other general courses and it is one of the very few offered at technician level."