Renewable Energy Technician students strike a socially distanced pose with their recently installed solar panels on the roof of the Stevens Point Campus of Mid-State Technical College this June. The project provided valuable hands-on experience as part of an summer advanced solar installation course.

Mid-State Technical College students install large solar array at Stevens Point Campus

August 4, 2020

Mid-State’s Renewable Energy Technician students recently got hands-on experience delivering solar energy to the College’s Stevens Point Campus. The students installed 135 solar panels on the roof of the downtown Stevens Point campus, an array that will produce almost 50,000 watts of power on a sunny day and supply approximately 15 percent of the campus’s energy usage.

“It’s critical that Mid-State’s students continue to receive hands-on learning experiences with current technology, and this project has done that perfectly,” said Craig Buttke, the new full-time instructor for Mid-State’s Renewable Energy Technician program and former owner of Northwind Solar.

The project was incorporated into a small-group advanced solar installation course this June and made possible thanks to a Solar on Schools grant the College received from the Couilliard Solar Foundation to purchase the solar panels. The installation was also supported by the Wisconsin Solar Corps, a Department of Energy grant partnership with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and collaborating technical colleges aimed at expanding the state’s solar workforce to fuel growing demand for skilled technicians.

“It’s gratifying that even during these challenging times, Mid-State continues to innovate and leverage partnerships in the community to the benefit of our students and to help meet the growing demand for renewable energy in central Wisconsin,” Buttke said. 

To learn more about the new installation and see footage of the Mid-State’s virtual ribbon cutting ceremony, visit @MidStateTech on Facebook. For more information about the Renewable Energy Technician program, go to mstc.edu/programs.