Wind Energy & Turbine Technology

Are you looking for a challenging and rewarding career with room to advance? Then our Wind Energy and Turbine Technology program may be a great fit for you. As one of the first three programs nationwide to earn the American Wind Energy Association’s Seal of Approval for Wind Turbine Service Technician Programs, we pride ourselves on being a leader in delivering rigorous coursework to produce the front-line technicians the industry needs.

Our dual-track program helps you enter a growing technical workforce with confidence and transcend different sectors of the renewable energy field. Whether you choose to pursue a diploma or Associate in Applied Science degree, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an internship. Gain exposure to real work experience that will prepare you for what to expect on the job.

Gain hands-on experience in our 50,000 square-foot Sustainable Energy Resources and Technology Facility. In the 11-month diploma program, you’ll become familiar with construction, maintenance and wind turbine operation while learning the fundamentals in electrical, hydraulic and mechanical theory. In the second year, you’ll receive advanced training in power generation, programmable logic systems, basic solar energy concepts, supervisory control and data acquisition.

Upon graduation, you’ll be ready for entry-level positions in the wind energy field and have the foundational industry skills needed to become a lead technician, site supervisor, operator or manager.

Faculty Contact

Michael Gengler
Assistant Professor | Wind Energy & Turbine Technology
712-362-7950 |

Program Details


DEGREE: Associate in Applied Science (66 credits)

CAMPUS: Estherville


Did You Know?

Starting Salary: $40,157 | Average Salary: $60,957

Projected Employment Growth: 57%

Special Certifications Available

Received AWEA Seal of Approval


Term 1

Credits: 4

Electrical Theory I is an introduction to basic electrical theory and components that make up electrical circuits. Direct Current and Alternating Current will be introduced and basic laws for voltage, current and power relationships will be presented in lecture and laboratory format. Course content will include, but not be limited to basic circuits, electrical components and their applications. Hands-on reinforcement of theory covered during lecture is prac­ticed in lab.

Credits: 3

Technical Math includes operations with real numbers, use of fractions, ratios, measurement conversion, algebraic equations, functions, geometry, and right angle trigonometry. Applications are designed around situations students may encounter in industrial settings

Credits: 3

Operation of real and complex numbers; factoring; exponents; quadratic equations; inequalities; matrices; rational functions; logarithmic functions; and graphing or functions .

Prerequisites: Ap­propriate placement score or MAT 110 – Math for Liberal Arts

Credits: 5

Course combines college algebra and trigonometry .Algebra top-ics covered include functions and their graphs; solving equations and inequalities; polynomial functions; conic sections; and exponential and logarithmic functions .Trigonometry topics covered are right triangle trigonometry; unit circles; trigonometric functions; graphing; verifying identities; solving trigonometric equations; and applications of trigonometry.

Prerequisites: Appropriate placement score or MAT 110, MAT 140, MAT 120 or MAT 121

Credits: 1

A study of the careers available within the renewable energy sec­tor, with an emphasis on analyzing renewable energy industries as related components of a dynamic system. Students will also learn about drafting cover letters, creating resumes, interviewing, and networking.

Credits: 4

Introduction to Wind Energy students will be exposed to the many facets of the wind industry. This course will cover the history and development of the wind industry, terminology used in the indus­try, basic tools and techniques, wind turbine components, the future of the wind industry, and other topics that are appropriate.

Credits: 4

Field Training I is designed to provide students with an under­standing of the safety techniques used in the wind industry. Topics will include OSHA 10, First Aid/AED, tower climbing, high angle rescue/evacuation, working with tools at height, basic electrical safety, confined spaces, and basic crane safety.

Choose MAT 743, MAT 120 or MAT 127

Term 2

Credits: 3

This course is designed to prepare students for the oral and writ­ten communication situations in the working world. The major ar­eas of study include technical communication principles, oral com­munications, composing technical documents, and using Standard English. Writing projects require the use of a word processing program; therefore, computer experience is recommended.

Credits: 3

This course will introduce students to the basic structure and application of hydraulics. Students will also learn how to read hy­draulic schematics and troubleshoot basic hydraulic components.

Credits: 4

Electric Theory II consists of instruction that will build upon experi­ence gained in Electric Theory I. Students will be introduced to advanced concepts of electrical theory.

Credits: 3

This course discusses motor controls, components, operation, and service. Students will learn electric relay control of AC and DC motors along with troubleshooting motors in an industrial application.

Credits: 4

Field Training II will introduce a wind turbines construction, main­tenance, and operation. Topics will include construction, schemat­ics, components, maintenance, mechanical systems, electrical systems troubleshooting, and operation.

Prerequisites: WTT 116 – Field Training I

Term 3

Credits: 4

Students will complete job contact experience in their field of choice. A minimum of 288 job contact hours is required by this 4-credit course.

Term 4

Credits: 4

Electric motors & generators is an introduction to types of motors and generators that are used today. The characteristics of Direct Current and Alternating Current motors and generators will be dis­cussed and demonstrated through lecture and hands on labora­tory sessions.

Prerequisites: ELE 119 – Basic Electricity I

Credits: 2

An introduction of the NFPA 70E® Electrical Safety in the Work­place and NFPA 70B® Recommended Practice for Electrical Equipment Maintenance documents. Technicians are required to do preventive maintenance on electrical equipment and to do it safely. These documents will be used to discuss how this is to be accomplished in the workplace.

Credits: 3

This course provides students with knowledge and understand­ing of digital logic circuit design and operation using integrated circuits. Studies include combinatorial logic circuits, flip-flops, arithmetic circuits, counters and registers, memory devices and logic families.

Prerequisites: ELE 119 – Basic Electricity I

Credits: 3

Comprehensive introduction to components, circuits, instruments and control techniques used in industrial systems.

Prerequisite or Corequisite: ELE 119 – Basic Electricity I

Credits: 3

Power Generation and Transmission will serve as an introduction to the generation of electrical power with a wind turbine genera­tor, moving that power through a local transmission system to a substation where a customer will purchase the generated power. This course will cover all aspects of working with components of a high voltage transmission system.

Term 5

Credits: 4

Introduce students to Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC’s), primarily the Siemens S7-200 processors, the Siemens LOGO smart relay processor and the Bachmann M1 Controllers. The course will provide students with experiences in the following: Numbering systems associated with programming and addressing PLC’s Hardware and software familiarization associ­ated with PLC’s Using programming instruction sets to create and edit ladderlogic programs Troubleshooting techniques using a PLCTroubleshooting techniques using a schematic and drawings

Credits: 4

Foundational training in local area networking technology, pro­tocols and installation procedures. Introduction to supervisory control and data acquisition for industrial networks.

Prerequisites: ELT 732 – Introduction to Industrial Instrumentation

Credits: 3

This class will introduce students to various solar energy concepts that a technician should understand while working on or around photovoltaic (PV) installations.

Prerequisite: ELE 119 – Basic Electricity I

Corequisites: ELE 136 – Basic Electricity II & ELE 195 – Motor Control

Credits: 3

Principles of Management provides the student with a conceptual framework for understanding the basic theories of management. Emphasis is placed on the internal and external environment, ethics, planning, goal setting, decision making, organizational structure, motivation and group dynamics, and effective control mechanisms for establishing and accomplishing business objectives.

Credits: 3

The basic fundamentals of business. Basic business and economic concepts and terminology; management, marketing, finance, human resource management, accounting and other business areas.

Choose either MGT 101 or BUS 102

† indicates a course that fulfills the diversity requirement. This course may also fulfill another general AA requirement.