Within the month, the Jones Education Center and Flint Hills Technical College will become a bright spot -- literally -- for alternative energy.
Solar panels are being installed this week, both on the ground and on the roof of the building. FHTC Sustainability Studies Director Amy Becker says the project has been delayed by weather in recent days, but is now up and running full-steam, with conduit being strung through the building and the panels arriving Wednesday.
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The solar panels come courtesy Westar Energy, who has partnered with FHTC to provide equipment for students to learn how to operate and work on green energy sources. Becker says the tech college helped Westar develop the "nuts and bolts" of the solar program, and that FHTC is the first school to incorporate it into their curriculum.
With this addition, Becker says the Jones Education Center will be taken to "net-zero," meaning they will be able to generate as much energy as they use -- and eliminate some energy bills. Other alternative energy sources include their geothermal pools and wind turbines.