Illinois Renewable Energy Association offers fall classes

From press release

The Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) will offer a variety of classes this fall. Most will focus on renewable energy; one will focus on food independence. They will be offered at the IREA headquarters, the Kickapoo Nature Center, Rock Island, and both Rock Valley and Illinois Valley community colleges.

Oregon, Ill.: To register for any of the Oregon or Rock Island classes, e-mail Advanced registration is essential.

Small Wind Generators for Homeowners, offered Saturday, Sept. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include lecture, discussion and hands-on experiences. Class members will take down, disassemble and reassemble a wind generator that has produced power since spring 2005.

In November (date to be announced), Make a Solar Collector will involve participants in making and installing a hot air collector that can be used for a home, workshop, shed, etc.

Saturday, Oct. 9, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., for those interested in food independence, a class will concentrate on preserving food for use throughout the non-gardening part of the year: freezing, drying, canning and storing. Actual preservation techniques will be taught and tried.

All three classes will be at 1230 E. Honey Creek Road, Oregon, Ill.

Donations to IREA (a non-profit organization) for these three classes are $40 per class for IREA members and $60 for non-members, which includes membership. Advanced registration is essential.

A four-day Advanced Solar Electric class will be held at the energy-efficient Kickapoo Nature Center, 1919 N. Limekiln Road, Oregon, Ill., from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 13-16. The class will help participants continue their pv systems training with advanced design and detailed installation procedures, and will prepare them for entry-level jobs in the renewable energy industry. Hands-on experiences wiring a complete pv system included. Course fee is $400.

Rock Island, Ill.: Learn how to install solar panels to make a golf cart both fuel and grid independent in this hands-on class. Skills are transferable. Work with panels, wiring, controller, combiner box, aluminum angle and bolts to mount the panels on the canopy. Limited to seven. Cost: $175. Location: Rock Island KOA Campground, 2311 78th Ave. West, Rock Island.

Rockford and Oglesby: Classes will also be offered by Rock Valley College, Rockford, and Illinois Valley College, Oglesby. Register online or by phone at (815) 921-3900 for Rock Valley or (815) 224-0490 for Illinois Valley.

Rock Valley classes include Small Wind Generators for Homeowners (Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.), Basics of Solar Electricity (Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.), Solar Hot Water Systems (Tuesday, Oct. 5, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.), and Efficient Solar Homes (Tuesday, Oct. 12, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.).

Illinois Valley classes include Small Wind Generators for Homeowners (Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to noon),Basics of Solar Electricity (Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to noon), Solar Hot Water Systems (Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to noon),and Efficient Solar Homes (Saturday, Sept. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to noon).

For more information, visit or contact Drs. Robert and Sonia Vogl, president and vice president of the IREA, at (815) 732-7332 or

From the Sept. 1-7, 2010 issue

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