Center for Leadership in Environmental Education (CLEEn)

Project Summary and Purpose:

Chesapeake College proposes the development and construction of a wind and solar education facility, CLEEn, at its Wye Mills (MD) campus which will model emerging renewable energy technologies while providing education and training opportunities for students and small businesses. A leader in energy conservation and sustainability initiatives, Chesapeake College continues to demonstrate with this proposed facility its commitment to environmental sustainability as a global and regional responsibility, and to enhancing economic development on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.


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In partnership with local governments in the five county College service area, secondary school systems, other colleges, state and federal agencies, and the business community, Chesapeake College will promote CLEEn as a community resource for green business development, training, and learning. Chesapeake College has an approved degree in environmental sciences and in collaboration with other bay area colleges, offers students opportunities for related, specialized degrees. Courses in wind power, solar, geothermal and electrical systems, have been offered by the division of continuing education and workforce training. CLEEn will allow the College to expand these programs and to design hands-on experiences to compliment the new K-12 Maryland State Board of Education requirement in environmental science.

As both a power-generating tool and a teaching tool, the Chesapeake College Center for Leadership in Environmental Education enhances the College's vision of optimal experiences for its students, while supporting the Maryland Governor's education priority of expanding "the opportunity to learn and to earn; ...and to enjoy the health of the environment we love - to more people rather than fewer."

Presentation from Seminar on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (PDF) - presented October 14, 2011 by Dave Hoffman, Gipe Associates, Inc.

Background on Chesapeake College:

Established in 1965, Chesapeake College was founded as the first regional community college in the State of Maryland, and serves the five upper shore counties of Queen Anne's, Kent, Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester. Chesapeake College offers affordable, quality educational experiences in a learner-centered environment with a number of programs of study in the liberal arts and sciences and career programs. Fully accredited by the Middles States Commission on Higher Education, the College grants Associate of Arts, Associate of Arts in Teaching, Associate of Science, and Associate of Applied Science Degrees, and awards Certificates and Letters of Recognition. The College also offers fully accredited Allied Health and Nursing programs, and is approved for veteran's benefits.

Chesapeake College's vision is to have the resources, programs, and services necessary to offer every citizen in its service region opportunities for learning. In Fiscal year 2010, 3,900 unduplicated credit students and more than 9,000 continuing education and workforce training students attended Chesapeake College. Each student's success is nurtured by comprehensive support services, innovative, instructional approaches, and individual attention. Students are encouraged to build on their strengths and excel in the college's dynamic learning environment. The College is guided by the core values of Quality, Student-Centeredness, Community, Diversity and Respect, Adaptability, Teamwork and Collaboration, and Responsibility.

Project Details:

Chesapeake College proposes to construct a stand-alone facility that will utilize state-of-the-art wind, solar, and geothermal power-generating technologies. The 4,000 square foot facility will house two classrooms, a visitor/learning center, space for passive instructional displays, and an outdoor classroom, and offer the opportunity for hands-on learning access to the mechanical, electrical, and solar elements of the building's operations. The footprint of the building as designed allows for the future addition of two classrooms.

The completed facility will host a 30-50KW small wind turbine specially designed for regional wind speeds, mounted to a 140 foot monotower and integrated with the campus electrical supply. The turbine is sited close to US Route 50 in order to encourage public interest. The solar array will include both photovoltaic electrical generation panels and solar hot water panels. Water will be supplied by an existing well adjacent to the building, sewer connections will be made to the College's own wastewater treatment plant, and an additional twenty parking spaces will be added to an existing parking lot close to the facility. The proposed building design anticipates LEED Gold/Platinum standards, and will be fully self-sufficient, producing as much power as it consumes.

The wind and solar education facility will be used to recruit, train, and educate students for work in the emerging fields of wind and solar power generation, with emphases on planning, installing, and maintaining structures for both commercial and residential applications. Initially, the College anticipates students will be drawn through continuing education courses and via applicable industry training courses. Additionally, middle and high school students throughout the five county service area (and other regions of the Eastern Shore) will be invited to visit the facility as a field trip experience. The development of resource materials related to the learning experiences at the facility, and the creation of distance learning events, are also possible. The College will work toward certification of educational programs offered through the facility so that interested students may obtain the industry credentials necessary to successful job seeking in these green technologies.

Goals, Outcomes, Evaluation:

Through creative partnerships with the College's five supporting county governments, the business community, state government, schools and other colleges, Chesapeake College envisions the proposed facility as a unique regional resource for specialized training and demonstrations of innovative technology. The College expects to achieve certification for training offered through the wind and solar education facility, and to incorporate energy studies into its degree-track and continuing education curriculums. Additionally, the College anticipates a continuing partnership with the commercial and industrial community for use of the facility to train incumbent and new workers in emerging green technologies. Course enrollment, degrees granted, placement of incumbent and new workers, educational tours by visiting students and the general public, will all be used as measures for evaluating the impact of the Chesapeake College Center for Leadership in Environmental Education on the community at large.

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Presentation (PDF, 3 mb)

For more information about sustainability at Chesapeake College, please contact:
Doug Gray - dgray@chesapeake.edu
Greg Farley - gfarley@chesapeake.edu

If you wish to support this project, please contact: PJ Townsend - pjtownsend@chesapeake.edu.