NewsEarthrise Energy Awards RISE Grant to Help Students Pursuing Renewable Energy Skills at Heartland Community College

Earthrise Energy Awards RISE Grant to Help Students Pursuing Renewable Energy Skills at Heartland Community College

To empower local students, Earthrise Energy today announced a $22,200 grant to fund four scholarships for students pursuing a Renewable Energy Skills Certificate at Heartland Community College.

The owner and operator of the Gibson City Energy Center, a natural gas peaker plant in Gibson City is proposing to build several solar projects in central Illinois. Among the solar projects being proposed are a 135-megawatt facility in eastern McLean County and a 135-megawatt facility in Ford County.

“We’re glad to help break down financial barriers for local students entering this program and thrilled to be partnering with Heartland Community College to fuel the skilled workforce needed for the clean energy transition,” said Ellie Ginis, Project Developer for Earthrise Energy.

Each scholarship recipient will receive $5,550 to complete the seven-course certificate program, which equips students with the foundational knowledge and skills required for entry-level positions in the renewable energy sector, such as technicians. Graduates of the program are trained to install, troubleshoot, and repair renewable energy systems.

“This is a terrific opportunity for our students who want to enter an emerging field,” said Adam Campbell, Dean of the Career and Technology Division at Heartland Community College. “Earthrise’s investment demonstrates a commitment to providing a pathway for our students as they pursue a high-paying, in-demand career as well as confidence in Heartland’s Renewable Energy program to provide a high level of skill training for the next generation of sustainable energy technicians.”

Earthrise Energy launched its RISE Grant program to help fund local initiatives that champion excellence in education, protect the environment, and support the communities where Earthrise Energy has operations.

“As we expand our solar projects in central Illinois, we prioritize hiring local residents for our operations and maintenance team. Supporting Heartland’s program in renewable energy skills aligns perfectly with this goal,” said Emre Ozmen, Director of Development at Earthrise Energy. “Our investment underscores our dedication to nurturing a skilled workforce and sparking enthusiasm for renewable technologies among students.”

In addition to the Gibson City Energy Center, Earthrise Energy operates four other natural gas plants in Illinois, including the Shelby County Energy Center in Neoga, the Tilton Energy power plant in Tilton, the Lincoln Generating Facility in Manhattan, and Crete Energy Venture in Crete. It is building more than 1.5 gigawatts of renewable energy in Illinois to support the clean energy transition.

Students interested in the Earthrise Energy Scholarship can apply through the HCC Foundation application, located in their my.heartland student center. Learn more about Heartland Community College’s Renewable Energy Certificate program online: