Santa Fe Community College
Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) places significant emphasis on green economic development initiatives to help diversify the local/regional economy and create well-paying jobs for their graduates. This past year, SFCC has formalized relationships with six private sector bioenergy ventures that are housed on campus while they develop further commercialization of their business concepts. This provides opportunity for students, faculty and staff to be exposed to the innovation process and offers internship and employment in the green economy.
In keeping with the hands-on approach to technology educations, SFCC has created the Training Center Corporation (TCC). TCC partnerships are focused on bio-manufacturing companies that are in the commercialization process who have agreed to provide “on-the-job” training to SFCC students. These student/technicians ideally will be employed by the company in the future. SFCC’s location between Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs and close association with National Renewal Energy Lab provide many opportunities for student training/internships at some of the best laboratories in the world, demonstrating to SFCC students that they are capable of participating in and obtaining good paying jobs.
A leader in clean energy and sustainability, SFCC signed on to the Carbon Commitment in 2007, and later the Climate Commitment in 2016. Community partnerships with Tesuque tribal farms Cultural and Technology Exchange, the Academy of Sustainable Education at Santa Fe High School and other schools in the region link the campus to the community. SFCC is a leader in the state for sustainability education, hosting statewide and regional conferences, and offering training for green-energy building certifications.
Santa Fe Community College has been at the forefront of planning and leadership in environmental and sustainable technologies in Santa Fe for more than 15 years. The city’s Sustainable Santa Fe Commission has included SFCC as a key component of an economic development plan, whose foundation is in “Green Jobs” and a sustainable future that includes water conservation, Solar Energy, Bioenergy, innovative (low water, low impact) agriculture and micro grid development. The city’s Resolution 2015-57 charges SFCC with developing a 25-year Sustainability Plan for Santa Fe that addresses renewable energy, energy efficiency, land use, water use and carbon emission reduction efforts to achieve the city’s goal of being carbon neutral by 2040. SFCC staff, faculty and administrators play key roles on the Santa Fe Sustainability Commission.
SFCC’s Biofuels and Solar Energy programs are recognized nationally and demonstration projects on campus are widely 13 regarded as innovative best practice facilities that can, and are, emulated in the region.
Students and faculty regularly team with residents, industry and governmental agencies to evaluate project parameters, assist in design and bid evaluation, and when possible provide hands-on assistance. SFCC’s Water Conservation program is the first in the country to offer a pathway for American Rainwater Catchment Association certification outside of ARCSA’s own training courses.
SFCC’s micro grid development has brought all sectors of the colleges sustainable technologies programs together to integrate energy, food and water systems to implement the best technologies for each demand, while utilizing waste products from one process as a feedstock for others.
SFCC’s Trades and Advanced Technologies Center is a LEED Platinum facility housing the Department of Sustainable Trades and Technologies. The facility is state-of-the-art, with industrial scale solar thermal, photovoltaic, water harvesting -for facility reuse- and biomass energy systems designed to minimize the campus carbon footprint. The Biofuels Center of Excellence laboratory showcases an array of technologies that demonstrate “closing the loop” between agricultural, municipal, industrial operations to reduce environmental impacts. The greenhouse program trains students in controlled environment featuring aquaponics, hydroponics, water and nutrient recycling. This program provides fish and vegetables, in addition to the food from the SFCC culinary gardens, to the campus eateries. SFCC’s energy efficiency program offers online and contract training.
The SFCC solar energy program has embraced the “Campus as a Living Laboratory” philosophy promoted by the SEED center of the American Association of Community Colleges. In addition to laboratory training equipment designed and constructed by faculty and students in Photovoltaics, Hydronics and Solar Thermal classes, SFCC built and repaired heating systems for their biofuels and Greenhouse management programs and improved performance of a solar thermal system for the therapeutic pools and a PV system for their Kid’s campus.
SFCC Biofuels Center of Excellence is a member of the New Mexico EPSCoR Algal Biofuels team, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. The program is also involved in additional projects such as National Genome Research Center, Girls Scouts of New Mexico Trails as well as developmental projects in Botswana, Tanzania and Puerto Rico.