Alternative Energy
Associate of Applied Science

AE 182 Drones in Renewable Energy
Spring 2024

AE 182 Drones in Renewable Energy Learn to fly a drone for a solar or wind site survey. Students apply different flight techniques to capture the ideal photograph. (3 credit hours)

New and current students can enroll through TrojanWeb.  High school students should apply through their guidance counselor's office.

Brochure (66 hours)

CCC's unique two-year program concentrates on solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind technology. Because this program is online, students can learn and work from anywhere with internet access.

Participation in Saturday “boot camps” is recommended to gain hands-on training. Boot camps are offered every eight weeks in the fall and spring semesters.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of solar photovoltaic (PV) installers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2022 to 2032, and wind turbine service technicians is projected to grow 45 percent during the same period. The continued expansion and adoption of renewable energy will result in excellent job opportunities for qualified individuals, particularly those who complete courses at a community college or technical school.

For additional information, contact Derek Reilley, Program Director, at 785.460.5431 or email at

“I only have wonderful things to say about this program and this facility. This program is very comprehensive, and the boot camps are the best! My favorite part about the camps is making connections with people already working in the industry. When the staff and guest speakers say they are available anytime for help, they mean just that. I would recommend Colby Community College to everyone. It has helped me reach my goals!”    Garrett Kuhn, Vestas

“ The sustainable renewable energy program is a very good program that helped me go out and get a lifelong career. I know I will use the knowledge that I have learned through this program at my new job in Colby at Siemens Gamesa. I am very thankful for this program and what it has done for me. ”    Landon Rinehart, Siemens Gamesa

“The Alternative Energy program at Colby Community College gave me the knowledge and abilities to pursue the career path I wanted. The reputation and connections this program has gave me the upper hand when finding a job. This program made my investment in college well worth it and left me with valuable skills I can use for the rest of my life..”   Jayden Braun, Blue Raven Solar

“I feel like my time at Colby Community College really prepared me for my career in renewable energy. Having the option to peruse the workstudy position is one of the largest benefits of this program because you get everyday hands-on experience working with real-world technologies.”   William Enfield, Tesla

“After being in the Alternative Energy program for only one year, I was able to land the perfect job. The classes administered by Derek Reilley are online, so I can finish my degree while starting my career in the solar industry!”   Kamryn Hughes, Site Surveyor, SunPro

“I am finishing the Associate degree program from Colby Community College in Renewable Energy. I came into the program with quite a bit of general knowledge but little overview of the renewable energy world. The program did an excellent job of providing me with both textbook information and hands -on experience using the basic skills needed to enter into the Solar PV job market.

As a new technician for a small install and maintain company in the St. Louis MO, market, I have had the opportunity to show not only what I knew before entering the class, but also what I learned in the education provided me.

Derek is great to work with, and very accessible, and true to Colby Communities way of thinking that the education is what makes the students and drives them to be great. Offering the classes online allows one to continue to work a full-time job while still having the time and opportunity to obtain the degree.

I know there are other programs out there, but this program really did a great job of getting someone the knowledge they need to enter the field. If I’m asked, I would say become a Trojan then see where life takes you." Howard D. Owens


“The sustainable/renewable energy program at CCC gave me the knowledge and opportunity to get my foot in the door to start a new career path. I am very grateful for the opportunity this program has given me.”   Troy L. Koon, Siemens Gamesa

"Colby’s Sustainable Renewable energy degree helped me build my knowledge far beyond what I thought I would learn. The courses I took taught me everything I would need to know about renewable energy and a lot of fun hands-on learning as well. I definitely recommend this to anyone interested in renewable energy."   Heath Bolyard, UpTower

"Because of what I studied in the sustainable/renewable energy program, I have been able to start at a very high wage in a very competitive job market. Knowing that I wouldn't even consider this option without the Solomon Forks Wind Project scholarship makes me even more grateful. Colby Community College has lifted me to heights I didn't know possible. I'm living my dream because of what Mr. Reilley and CCC have done for me."  Kainin O'Malley, Vivint Solar

“I know for a fact I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now in the solar industry without the sustainable/renewable energy program offered by Mr. Reilley. Huge head start in the Renewable Energy Industry.”   Chance Andrews, Vivint Solar

"The Alternative Energy Program offered at CCC was an amazing experience for me. It armed me with the tools and knowledge that aided in getting my feet wet in the wind industry as a wind tech I."  Isaac Kaiser, Sky Climber

"The sustainable/renewable energy program is an excellent way to help get a foot in the door in the industry. I was able to get a local wind position where I am able to support the program and future students."  Shylo Evans, Nordex USA

"Through the completion of the Alternative Energy Program offered at CCC, I have had more job opportunities, more doors open, and high success in the wind industry. The program gave me the tools needed to make it where I am today."
  Jonathan Auker, Duke Energy

"I received the certificate of completion for wind technology from Colby Community College and I have now started my new career as a wind tech II."  Marc Chaffin, NextEra Energy

"Throughout the program I had gained the essential skills that secured a job In this industry. Without this opportunity I wouldn’t be where I am today in my profession!"   Austin Russ, UpTower

"Completion of the renewable energy program at CCC has helped me to land a job in solar as well as giving me the leg up that I needed to help me advance quickly in the field."  Jeffrey C. Johnson, Crew Lead, Ecomark Solar

"The sustainable/renewable energy program allowed me to take my passion for solar energy to the next level.  I would not have the exciting career I do without it!"  Danny Denio Blue, Raven Solar

"My education in the CCC Alternative Energy program enabled me to land a high-tech career."  Landon Reilley, Vivint Solar




EN176 English Composition I 3
PH177  Introduction to Geology w/lab 5
Public Speaking 3
  Gen. Ed. Electives 6
FY100  First Year Experience * 1
AE276 Introduction to Energy Technologies * 3
AE190 Electronics * 3
AE241 Power Storage/Trans. & Conversion ** 3
AE182 Drones in Renewable Energy †    3
AE297  Small Wind & Solar PV Installation Professional  †  5
AE298 Internship ˄ 4
AE181 Small Wind Turbines * 3
AE178 Ag/Rural Applications ** 3
AE183 Wind Battery Based † 3
AE180 Wind/Solar PV Hybrid Systems††  3
AE277 Solar PV Fundamentals & Applications * 3
AE279 Solar PV Grid Direct ** 3
AE200 Solar PV Battery-Based † 3
AE201 Solar PV Technical Sales †† 3
SO181 Career Development  †† 3
Min. Credit Hours to Graduate:  66


* Fall semester, first eight weeks
** Fall semester, second eight weeks
† Spring semester, first eight weeks
†† Spring semester, second eight weeks
˄ Summer


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College Consensus Badge Ranked one of the top online associate degrees in sustainable studies. 




Solar PV Certificates
Wind Technology Certificates

Questions? Contact Us.

Alternative Energy
1255 S Range Ave
Colby KS 67701
(785) 460-5431