"There is a need for trained people working in the field of alternative energies," said Jeremy D. Brown, Canton Tech provost and vice president of academic affairs.This should quickly develop into a popular program -- the university's press release notes that more than 20 current students are interested in the program, and I imagine those numbers will grow. Congrats to Canton for recognizing that renewable and alternative energies are a viable field of study, and should provide their graduates with many opportunities.
Federal and state government leaders have recently pushed to make the country more dependent on renewable energies. Legislation mandates at least 25 percent of the power generated in New York be from renewable sources by 2013.
"There are a wide variety of energy options they will get to experience," said Michael L. Newtown, Canton Tech assistant professor of mechanical engineering.
The program will teach students about fuel cells, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and solar power and biofuels. Canton Tech already operates several environmentally friendly renewable energy sources, including the ability to make biodiesel fuel.
A methane digester will also begin supplying natural gas to the campus from manure produced at a nearly farm this fall. The digester will capture the methane gas produced by the teRiele family farm's 600-plus cows and pipe it under Route 68 to furnaces on campus. The digester is expected to generate about 500 kilowatts of power.
"That will be a good research opportunity for students to get data and information from," Mr. Newtown said.
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