Energy Industry Coalition (EPCE) Announces First of Three Online Courses for Smart Grid & Renewable Energy

November 17, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

The Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE) has launched a new online course designed to provide important training for electric power industry workers in the areas of clean energy solutions and smart grid deployment

Renewable Energy Sources and the Smart Grid explores electricity production from various forms of renewable energy as well as the function, operation and vision of the smart grid. Designed to be an overview, the first course covers renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, ocean, biomass and geothermal, as well as a high-level look at smart grid challenges, benefits, technology needed, and the vital role of the consumer.

"’Smart grid and renewable energy‘ is the wave of the future we’ll see in dispatch, so learning more about the types of generation and power supply we may deal with soon was helpful," said Victor Kurywczak, Master Coordinator at PJM Interconnection, who recently completed the course. "I think everyone should be exposed to (the course), It’s not position or department specific. It provides a very good insight into alternatives in energy sources and to what the ’smart grid‘ is developing into."

The first in a series of three, this course was developed in collaboration with EPCE’s education partner, Bismarck State College’s National Energy Center of Excellence, as part of a U.S. Department of Energy workforce training and development grant administered by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). The other two courses will be developed and delivered over the remainder of the three-year DOE grant project. All the courses require approximately 10 to 12 hours of time, and students can access these online courses anytime, anywhere.

The courses are being developed to provide workforce preparedness training for thousands of employees of EPCE’s DOE grant partners: Arizona Public Service; ComEd, an Exelon Company; JEA; Northeast Utilities Service Company; Oklahoma Gas and Electric; and PJM Interconnection. EPCE association partners, American Public Power Association (APPA) and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), are providing additional support for the program. Several hundred EPCE partner company employees have already enrolled in the course, which is now available to any interested student for a fee.

Representing approximately two-thirds of the industry workforce, EPCE is a unique coalition of industry organizations that partner with higher-education to develop, sponsor, and promote online learning programs to help the energy industry meet its workforce needs.