Changes made to Renewable Energy Association course offerings

Staff Report

The Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) will be offering 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 and both Rock Valley and Illinois Valley community colleges.

To register for any of the classes at IREA headquarters, e-mail Advanced registration is essential.

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8, 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. The class will be presented at IREA headquarters in Oregon, Ill.

Small Wind Generators for Homeowners,” offered from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, 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.

Build a Hoop House,” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 22, will offer class participants the opportunity to actually build a hoop house — an inexpensive greenhouse that can be used to start plants for early spring planting and also keep greens for salads and cooked vegetables thriving through the entire winter. Information about purchasing the components to build one at home will be provided.

Saturday, Oct. 29, a beginning solar electric class will be held. It will provide a complete overview of solar electricity: what it is, how it works, advantages, components of a system, financial assistance available and how to get started. Participants will also tour a grid-connected system and a stand-alone system. The owners will be available to discuss living with them.

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. This class will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nov. 19.

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

Donations to IREA (a nonprofit organization) for all classes, except Make a Solar Collector, are $20 per class for IREA members and $40 for non-members, which includes membership. Donations for the Build a Solar Collector class are $40 for members and $60 for non-members. 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, Nov. 15, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.) and “Basics of Solar Electricity” (Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.).

Illinois Valley classes include “Basics of Solar Electricity” (Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9:30 a.m. to noon); and “Solar Hot Water Systems (Saturday, Oct. 22, from 9:30 a.m. to noon).

Visit for details.

From the Oct. 5-11, 2011, issue

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