The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana received a $200,000 grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation today. The award will be used to expand and improve the College’s Power Technologies program to include a certificate program in photovoltaic (PV) energy and add a renewable energy lab yard that allows hands-on experience in solar, hydro, and wind technologies. UAHT is in the process of applying for program approval from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education.

“The project goal is to implement high-quality credential programs and standards in renewable energy, energy professionals and practitioners, and energy industries,” said Chris Thomason, UAHT Chancellor.

Funds from the grant will be used to develop and implement a renewable energy lab that creates and enhances hands-on training and credentialing for a renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro) workforce across commercial, residential, industrial, and utility-scale renewable energy fields.

“The College will develop and enhance curricula, identify career pathways that connect training to jobs, and expose students of all ages to careers in renewable energies,” Thomason said.

The renewable energy lab project will add a renewable energy training lab as a component to the College’s existing Power Technologies program. The educational model is patterned after Solar Energy International (SEI) programs. SEI works with organizations seeking the benefits of renewable energy.

“UAHT plans to be the leader in industry training for renewable energy,” Thomason added.