Lewis and Clark Community College in Illinois now offers a Certificate of Completion in Smart Grid Technology, which provides students with a basic foundation in computer networking, renewable energy technology, power transmission and distribution, and energy efficient buildings.
“As utilities strive in coming years to continue implementation of smart grid technologies, they will rely on new employees with unique skill sets,” said Program Coordinator Chris Reese. “Students who are interested in renewable energies, modernization of the power distribution system, and use of new technologies to solve problems will find that smart grid technology is a rewarding field of study.”
Smart Grid career possibilities span several occupational categories, including electrical and electronic engineers, electrical and electronic technicians, computer network administrators, computer system analysts, installation technicians, maintenance technicians and energy production occupations.
Smart grid hiring will continue as utilities develop and deploy smart grid technologies. The U.S Department of Labor Bureau of Labor and Statistics refers to a study prepared by the energy-consulting firm DNV KEMA that suggests that smart grid development and implementation will result in the creation of 280,000 new positions across various occupational categories.
“The unique part of this program is the ability of students to design their own certificate according to individual interests,” Reese said. “After taking the Smart Grid Overview course, students can choose a course sequence that emphasizes different aspects of the smart grid. For example, a student may choose to focus on metering, networking and network security or, alternatively, on power transmission and production including distributed generation.”
To complete the certificate, students start with the Smart Grid Overview course (SGRD 100) and then choose any three other of the following one credit hour courses to create an individualized four credit hour certificate: Efficient Electric Power Systems (SGRD 101), Smart Grid: Command & Control (SGRD 102), Metering & Home Area Networks (SGRD 103), Smart Grid: Network Security (SGRD 104), Microgrids & Renewable Energies (SGRD 105) and Energy Efficient Buildings (SGRD 106).