More than 25 local students from Sierra College in Roseville, Calif., got hands-on training for jobs at the Energy 2001 Renewable Energy Center—a partnership between the college, the Western Placer Waste Management Authority (WPWMA), and local green power producer Energy 2001.
“This unique public/private partnership is a classic example of how business, government, and Sierra College work together to benefit our communities, the local economy, and students,” Sierra College President William Duncan said in a statement. “By giving these students hands on ‘real world’ experience they become valuable in-demand employees as they enter the labor market.”
Launched by in 2015, the Energy 2001’s Renewable Energy Center has enabled students from Sierra College’s Energy Technology Program to spend a semester constructing ground-mounted commercial solar arrays adjacent to the Energy 2001 Landfill Gas Power Plant that is housed at the WPWMA’s Western Regional Sanitary Landfill. The project has become part of Sierra College’s Advanced Solar Class, taught by energy Professor Steve Geiger.
Constructed with in-kind assistance from Placer County based Brower Mechanical and SMR Inc., the new arrays are being used to help power WPWMA’s Blower Flare Station (BFS)—a system which collects landfill gases and supplies them to engines that convert these gases into electricity at Energy 2001’s 5MW Power Plant. By helping to power its BFS from the student-constructed solar arrays, WPWMA will be saving $.04 per kWh over what it would otherwise be paying PG&E—savings that are ultimately passed along to landfill ratepayers.
“In meeting the WPWMA’s responsibility to be good stewards of the environment, we are producing a growing supply of renewable energy at no additional cost to our ratepayers while helping Sierra College students access the training they need to win the good paying jobs of tomorrow,” Placer County District 1 Supervisor and WPWMA Board member Jack Duran said in a statement. “This Renewable Energy Center is a model public-private partnership that I hope other communities will seek to emulate.”
Energy 2001, which organized the partnership and underwrites the cost of all materials and land for use by Sierra College students, has been operating power generation facilities at the WRSL since 2004. Through its landfill gas (converting the gases from decomposing garbage into energy) power plant, it annually produces enough electricity from to power over 3,000 homes and businesses, and remits a portion of its revenue from power sales back to WPWMA.