ALBUQUERQUE – A memorandum of understanding was signed recently between Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque and Mesalands Community College.
The document allows the two organizations to cooperate in the development of new technology in the area of wind energy.
Signing the MOU were Phillip O. Barry, MCC president, and Stephen Roehrig, director of Sandia Energy, Resources and Systems Analysis.
The document, which allows wind energy research to be conducted at Mesalands Community College’s North American Wind Research and Training Center (NAWRTC) by Sandia, is the first of its kind between a national laboratory and a two-year college, said John Yearout, director of MCC public relations .
“Projects of this magnitude have historically been awarded to larger research universities,” Yearout said.
“Hopefully Sandia and Mesalands will work together on issues like the use of compressed air to augment wind, and on ways to store energy created at peak times from wind facilities,” said Joanna Prukop, Secretary of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural resources Department.
Citing the goal of 20 percent renewable energy nationwide by the year 2030, Program Manager of U.S. Department of Energy, Wind and vHydropower Technologies, Megan McCluer said, “The workforce in renewable energy needs well trained, clever, and strong workers. (Mesalands) is a role model for the rest of the nation in filling that need.”
Interim Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department,William Flores said community colleges in New Mexico are responding to the nation’s energy demands by developing programs suited for today’s needs.