Inauguration of the Centre québécois de formation en maintenance d'éoliennes Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles: Canadian leader in this field

GASPÉ, QC, Jan. 16, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Québec centre for wind turbine maintenance training (Centre québécois de formation en maintenance d'éoliennes - CQFME), Hydro-Québec Hall, officially opens its doors today at the Gaspé Campus of the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles. Building on a $3,800,000 investment, this centre will not only enable future workers to obtain the best training in Canada in the industry, but also make available to companies the facilities they need to provide tailor-made training and upgrading for their employees.

According to Roland Auger, Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles Director General: The CQFME positions the College and the Gaspé Peninsula - Magdalen Islands region as the country's essential pole in wind turbine maintenance training.

The CQFME features some twenty learning stations (electrical transformers, hydraulic bolting, gear boxes, etc.), three 750 kW wind turbines, including one installed on a 3-metre mini-tower inside the building and another outside for work simulations in confined spaces. In addition, there is a 32-metre tower in the Sandy Beach industrial park, the highest wind energy training tower in Canada. This unique facility serves to recreate an at-height work context and teach rescue techniques in a fully secure setting. Thanks to its partnership with the TechnoCentre éolien, the College also has access to the REpower 2.05-MW wind turbines owned by the latter, giving students the exceptional opportunity to experience operating wind turbines.

Groupe Collegia, the Continuing Education Department of the Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles, was the first in Canada and is the only facility in Québec to offer a complete and specialised program in the maintenance of large wind turbines. The Certificate of College Studies in Wind Turbine Maintenance has been offered since 2004; as for the in-house training activities for companies, they have been provided since 2008. Now that the CQFME facilities are up and running, students will be even better prepared for the labour market and employees will have even greater access to upgrading activities.

Attached to the College's Polytechnical Hall, the new 380 m2 building has obtained LEED certification. This certification goes hand in hand with the training provided at the CQFME. The College wanted this new space to convey strong environmental values. With this in mind, a wooden structure was chosen in preference to a traditional metallic structure and a geothermal heating system was selected for its efficiency and the comfort it provides to our students. Other building features that speak of this commitment include a rainwater recovery system, a green roof and higher R-factor insulation for the walls, doors and windows as well as numerous other environmentally-driven choices. In the end, the new facility is 66% more energy efficient than a building of the same dimensions built according to normal standards.

Job prospects in the wind turbine maintenance field are very good at present in Québec. Nearly 400 jobs will need to be filled by 2015.

The wind energy industry network can now count on its new wind turbine maintenance training centre to prepare the workers of tomorrow and to provide further training to those already on the job.

SOURCE Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles

For further information:

Source:    Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles
Information:   Isabelle Vilchenon, Communications Advisor
    Phone: 418-368-2201, ext. 1470

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