MCC News

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MCC Launches New Solar Thermal Technology Certificate, Adds Training Facilities (01/31/2013)

State grants totaling $207,000 support growing green industry

ROCHESTER, N.Y. –Jan. 31, 2013– The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has awarded Monroe Community College more than $200,000 in grants to prepare students to become technicians skilled in the design, installation and maintenance of renewable energy systems.

Two grants totaling $207,000 support the development of MCC’s solar thermal technology certificate program and the construction of two facilities where integrated hands-on training takes place this spring — the Solar Thermal Auxiliary Resource (STAR) Center and the Weatherization House — at the college’s Applied Technologies Center.

Developed in response to the region’s increased demand for skilled solar workers, MCC’s certificate program offers a curriculum that reflects industry standards and provides a pathway to an A.A.S. degree in heating, ventilation and air conditioning/refrigeration. The certificate program starts this spring semester. Program graduates are eligible to sit for the national entry-level solar thermal heating certification exam at MCC, one of only four community colleges in the U.S. and the only school in New York to serve as an approved testing center.

The 1,600-square-foot STAR Center exposes students to various solar thermal and in-floor radiant heating systems. It is a sustainable facility that gets its electrical power through photovoltaic panels and wind turbines. Energy harvested from the sun heats the facility, and PV panels and wind turbines provide lighting and recharge batteries used to store the electrical power.

The two-story, 672-square-foot Weatherization House allows students to install and test the efficiency of various geothermal and energy conservation equipment designed to heat and cool homes.

For more information, call (585) 292-2200 or email

Bill Horton, instructor in MCC's Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning/Refrigeration program, teaches a student to install a solar collector on the roof of the STAR Center at the college's Applied Technologies Center.

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