Renewable Energy Association offers classes

From press release

OREGON, Ill.—The Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) will offer a variety of classes this spring. Most will focus on renewable energy; one will focus on food independence. They will be offered at the IREA headquarters, 1230 E. Honey Creek Road, Oregon, Ill., and both Rock Valley and Illinois Valley community colleges. All Oregon classes, except “Make a Solar Collector,” will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturdays; “Make a Solar Collector” will be from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The food class, first of a series, Feb. 26, will focus on planning, planting and caring for a garden: What will you enjoy harvesting and eating? How much will you (realistically) consume? How large an area are you prepared to work on? When should various produce be planted and harvested? Seed-saving techniques will be covered. Experiences will help you learn what to expect.

March 19, “Make a Solar Collector” will involve participants in actually making and installing a hot air collector that can be used for a home, workshop, shed, etc. Most materials can be easily obtained at a home improvement store.

April 9, a “Small Wind for Homeowners” class will provide a complete overview of wind power: what it is, how it works, advantages, components of a system and how to get started. Participants will also take down and examine a 1 kW generator. The owners will be available to discuss living with it.

May 7, a PV class will focus on proper mounting locations of solar modules, the effects of shading, placement of solar panels, power output estimates, and a cost/benefit analysis. A discussion of the basic components needed to build a 1-kilowatt, grid-connected system will be followed by a hands-on demonstration of everyone assembling the complete system and temporarily placing it into service.

A donation to IREA (a non profit organization) for the three technical classes of $40 per class and $20 for the food class is requested.

To register for the Oregon classes, e-mail Advanced registration is essential.

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

Rock Valley classes include “Small Wind Generators for Homeowners” (Tuesday, Feb, 22, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.); “Basics of Solar Electricity” (Tuesday, March 8, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.); and “Energy Options after Peak Oil” (Tuesday, March 22, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.).

Illinois Valley classes include “Small Wind Generators for Homeowners” (Saturday, Feb. 26, from 9:30 a.m. to noon); and “Basics of Solar Electricity” (Saturday, March 12, from 9:30 a.m. to noon).

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