Red Deer College is receiving funding from the federal government for students to access new training opportunities in the alternative energy sector and for green energy upgrades.  

In an announcement made today, the total $9.5 million investment is being shared equally between Ottawa and the college for two projects.

Red Deer College will provide training and research opportunities focused on alternative energy production processes through the new Alternative Energy Innovation Lab Project.

Students will receive instruction that will help them contribute to a diversified green economy and promote long- term economic growth in the alternative energy sector.

Additional upgrades to the campus through the Green Energy Master Plan will reduce carbon emissions by 20 per cent over the next five years.

Joel Ward, President and CEO of Red Deer College, said the funding will provide tremendous opportunities.

“It benefits business and industry by providing opportunities for research in working with our students and faculty.”

“It saves us $1 million a year in heat and energy costs and it becomes a demonstration lab of some of the new environmental heating power technologies, so it’s a win all across the board.”

The projects are expected to generate more than $7 million of direct economic activity for the provincial economy over the next two years.

Randy Boissonnault, Parliamentary Secretary, Canadian Heritage, said these infrastructure investments will create good, well-paying jobs, that can help the middle class grow and prosper.

“Through the Strategic Investment Fund, we are strengthening the foundation for building Canada into a global centre for innovation."

Marlin Schmidt, Alberta’s Minister of Advance Education, was also there to celebrate the announcement and said Red Deer College is doing a great job training students and is well aware of the college’s proposal to become a Polytechnic University.

“We’re giving it consideration, there’s a lot of work going on right now with all universities and colleges regarding their roles and mandates and how they’re funded,” Schmidt said.

“We’ll have more to say as that work progresses throughout the year.”

This announcement today was just one in a series of announcements focusing on Canada 150 Celebrations and infrastructure upgrades for communities such as Ponoka, Olds, Stettler and Rocky Mountain House.