Researchers to develop clean energy courses

Researchers from Washington State University and the University of Washington will work to develop a program to train engineers in clean energy and the smart electric power grid, officials said Friday.

Researchers received$2.5 million from the Department of Energy to develop the program, one of 54 around the country that is to receive economic stimulus money set aside for smart grid work force training projects. The three-year project will develop a set of courses in clean energy and smart grid engineering.

The power industry is facing the challenge of an aging work force, with one third of its workers expected to be eligible for retirement in the next decade, according to WSU. The number of programs to train power engineers also has declined.

The joint program will allow for development of an undergraduate certificate, graduate level certificates and a master's degree in clean energy and smart grid engineering, officials said.