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SLCC program leads the way in solar education

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SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake Community College offers courses in one of the cleanest and most economical energy sources. Solar power is a growing career field with a bright future.

Joel Beach, a student in the SLCC Solar Program, says he wanted to find a field that is going to grow in the future and have some positive effects on the community.

"I'm looking forward to getting a good job and working in the field promoting solar power," said Beach.

His education at the SLCC Solar Program will be with both classroom and practical experience in an intense program.

"I believe we have one of the best systems and programs in the country," said Thaniel Bishop, SLCC Solar Program coordinator.

Solar energy is a growing field in both the commercial and residential markets and a way to participate in environmentally friendly living without breaking the bank.

"Its offsetting your power bill. The way solar works is it harvests the energy from the sun. It's going to invert it to usable AC power and backfeed it into your electrical system," said Bishop.

An increase in the number of consumers using solar power means the need for those with training and licensing is increased. The SLCC Solar Program is leading the way in the state with their education and requirements for their students.

"It is up to natinal standards for certification and it's up to national electrical codes," said Bishop.

It takes 135 class and lab hours to complete the program. About 40 to 90 students participate in the SLCC Solar Program each year, but instructors say that number is growing as the prospect for solar production is increasing.