ECC opens green center to train students in solar, wind and geothermal technologies - The Buffalo News

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ECC opens green center to train students in solar, wind and geothermal technologies

The new house on Abbott Road in Orchard Park will be as energy efficient as you will find in these parts.

Solar panels are on the roof.

A geothermal energy system was installed for heating and cooling.

An 80-foot-tall wind turbine will be erected in the yard.

Water will be supplied using snow and rainwater that will be harvested and recycled.

Welcome to the new Green Building Technology Center unveiled Thursday by Erie Community College.

“This is the way of the future,” said Richard Washousky, executive vice president of academic affairs at Erie Community College.

The gray house on Abbott – along with the brick Cape Cod in front of it – will serve as a working laboratory to train students in energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The state Office of Homes & Community Renewal provided $600,000 in federal money for ECC to open the training center because too few are qualified to work in this emerging area of renewable energy and building weatherization, said Leonard Skrill, an assistant commissioner with the agency.

“I think as our energy costs rise, and the price goes down on alternative energy technology, this is going to be something people need to do,” said Andrew Sako, chairman of the college’s Department of Building Management and Maintenance.

ECC, which offers a certificate program in green building technology, will train students to install and repair solar, wind and geothermal technologies. The college’s workforce development program also will work with local companies to train employees at the center.

“We are now a showcase for Western New York,” said Carrie Kahn, who helped spearhead the project as the college’s executive dean of workforce development.

ECC President Jack F. Quinn Jr. held a ceremonial ribbon- cutting and tour Thursday at the new training center, located next to the South Campus across from Ralph Wilson Stadium.

“This is an example of what we need to do to ensure a 21st century future for our economy,” said County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.


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