Elgin Community College’s SBCT Division begins solar array project thanks to $39K grant

Elgin Community College’s Sustainabilty, Business, and Career Technologies Division received the shipping container unit to begin constructing a fully functioning solar array by the fall of 2024.

This project is being made possible through a $39,150 grant from the Illinois Green Economy Network.

“The goal of this is to be a functional training station for students in the energy management program and a visible ad for the program,” said Tyler O’Donnell, associate dean of the SBCT Division.

In the upcoming months, ECC’s energy management program will work on adding a solar racking system to hold the containers on the outside. On the inside, they will install several inverters.

Plans for the project began with David Scott, instructor of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. After showing his class a video of a group in Canada that had developed their own solar array, he thought, why can’t ECC do something similar?

“Over the next few months, we’ll be working on adding all the guts and glory into the system,” Scott said. “This is an opportunity to give our students hands-on experience installing a ray and setting up the inverter and battery system to power it. This will be a complete hands-on project for our students.”

ECC energy management program students will primarily construct the project, but Scott plans to bring in as many classes as possible in places needed. One area will be when they add a heating pump unit, which HVAC program students will put together.

Currently placed on the east side of ECC’s campus in the parking lot near the trucking yard, the solar array will move to the new manufacturing building.

For more information on ECC’s energy management program, visit

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