The Technical College of the Lowcountry was one of two Technical Colleges in the state that recently received a $25,000 grant from the S.C. Energy Office to establish a Geothermal Training Center. Greenville Technical College was the other recipient.
The grant will allow college faculty to be trained and certified in International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) standards and will fund the purchase of geothermal training equipment and materials. Faculty will then be able to train and certify source heat pump installers.
Geothermal energy uses power that has been extracted from heat stored deep within the earth and is increasingly valued for being cost effective, reliable, sustainable and environmentally friendly.
“With the increased emphasis on energy conservation and the tax credit incentives, many homeowners are upgrading to geothermal equipment,” said Everett Feight, TCL’s dean of industrial technologies. “As a result, there is an increasing need for certified technicians to install and troubleshoot geothermal heat pumps.”
The job market for IGSHPA certified technicians in TCL’s four-county service area – Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties – will continue to grow.
“This project, with its emphasis on alternative energy and green technologies, is extraordinarily timed to meet the emerging needs of the area workforce,” said Bill Bootle, a former local HVAC business owner and TCL Commission member.
John Tuckwiller, another Lowcountry HVAC business owner, said that students trained in geothermal energy will have a competitive edge when looking for jobs.
“Because of the increasing demand for experts in green technology, job seekers with geothermal certification from TCL will have a definite advantage in today’s job market,” he said.
Geothermal energy is the newest addition to TCL’s alternative energy education programs that already include components in solar, wind, and tidal energy. TCL has building construction, CAD, and civil engineering instructors who are Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design –Accredited Professional (LEED AP) certified. In addition, TCL is a U.S. Green Building Council Member.
The College is also affiliated with the Building Performance Institute (BPI) through participation with the State Tech Energy Efficiency Training Center Program (EETC) and is designated as one of six Energy Efficient Training Centers in South Carolina. Two faculty members hold Hot Climate Weatherization Instructor status, and one faculty member is a BPI trainer and a BPI proctor in Building Analyst, an Envelope Professional, and a Manufactured Housing Professional.
For more information about any of TCL’s alternative energy programs, please contact Everett Feight at 843.525.8296 or visit TCL Green Initiatives.
Contact: Leigh Copeland
Office: 843- 525-8231