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John Wood Community College installs solar panels

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Solar energy technology is coming to John Wood Community College.

The college has received two grants from the Illinois Green Economy Network to install energy-conserving solar panels.

President Mike Elbe says they were granted around $465,000 from the Illinois Green Economy Network to fund this project at JWCC's Workforce Development Center and the Agricultural Education Center.

"It just makes a lot of sense because one is we're conserving energy and two we're saving money."

Mike Elbe | John Wood Community College President

School officials say that it's not just about saving money, but it's an opportunity to integrate this technology into the students' curriculum.

"Students will be able to see a real commercial and residential type system in operation and be able to see how the installation is done and how the servicing is done and actually see the outcomes of actually adding solar to your network."

Dave Hetzler | JWCC Interim Dean of Career and Technical Education

Dave Hetzler, the school's interim dean of career and technical education says they want their students to have access to hands-on training.

"By putting them on the ground were able to have our students go out there and work closely with them."

Dave Hetzler | JWCC Interim Dean of Career and Technical Education

Just how much are these panels going to save?

"About an $18,000 in annual savings on our electrical consumption."

Dave Hetzler | JWCC Interim Dean of Career and Technical Education

School officials say they're about 65% finished at their first location and are expected to be completely finished by June 30th.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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