State Fair Community College held a dedication ceremony for the new Energy Innovation Center (EIC) Monday morning (April 21). Located next to the Sedalia Landfill on Oak Grove Lane, the EIC will provide students with educational, hands-on training opportunities for SFCC students who want to enter the biomass job market.

The EIC currently has two generators that converts methane gas from the Waste Corporation of Missouri central landfill into electricity to supplement the college and community needs. The center has the capability to help provide energy up to 5,000 residents in its current structure, but has the potential to do much more than that.

The EIC currently receives gas from 34 wells at the landfill and can generate as much as 2.4 megawatts of electricity to be placed on the grid and sold to KCP&L.

State Representative Dean Dohrman, a guest speakers at the dedication, explained that this whole project started over a lunch meeting. They established a partnership with SFCC and various state agencies and businesses in 2009 to develop this project. Current SFCC President Dr. Joanna Anderson was pleased to see this project come to fruition and hopes future lunch meeting ideas can spur great ideas like this one.

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel was onhand for the dedication and was impressed with the facility. “Everyone who worked on the Energy Innovation Center and supported it should be proud of what it means for Missouri jobs, training and opportunity,” Zweifel said. “The EIC will strengthen this region economically and play a huge part in meeting Missouri’s changing energy needs.”

The Energy Innovation Center will focus on student experience, business development and new energy technology.

“The Energy Innovation Center represents the real world opportunities students can find at Missouri community colleges,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “The education and experience students find at community colleges impact every sector of our economy, from manufacturing to agriculture, and the EIC brings great potential to this area as an emerging leader in alternative energy.”

Funding for the new Center comes from a variety of public and private grants, including a $1.6 million Community Development Block grant from the Missouri Department of Economic Development and $1.8 million from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The dedication culminated with a symbolic light bulb that lit up after Treasurer Zweifel turned the switch on. View photos from the dedication ceremony below.