The MEJATC has been awarded a NorthWestern Energy Universal Systems Benefit (USB) Grant for the installation of a 2.5 kWh Xzeres wind turbine with a geared tower system. This set-up enables the tower to be tilted up and down for training and maintenance purposes.
The turbine and tower allows for apprentice and journey level students to get hands-on training on a small-scale turbine that has many of the same components as larger systems. Coupled with classroom instruction, the MEJATC turbine/tower represents the ultimate model for learning the core components of wind generation.
Eagle Electric, working with wind professionals at OnSite Energy and Independent Power Systems (who holds the patent on the tower) will erect the system in the Spring of 2013. Assistance will be provided by 5th year apprentices.
Coupled with the MEJATCs rooftop solar PV and classroom trainers, the addition of the turbine will continue to insure that MEJATC students will be prepared for all types of renewable energy installations and maintenance, regardless of the size or type.
The MEJATC also continues to work with NorthWestern Energy in promoting the safety and technical excellence of installations in Montana. Through shared resources and training, there is a collective benefit for the craftspeople, contractors and utilities. Because of this, Union electricians in Montana have emerged as the leaders in becoming qualified for utility sponsored grant programs, and IBEW members are installing renewable systems in nearly every geographic area of Montana.