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ECI Wind and Solar Partner and Ivy Tech Teacher Craig Porter Dies in Training Accident November 3, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Uncategorized.
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Dear Blog Readers:
This is indeed a very tragic incident. Craig Porter was passionate about renewable energy and he was living his dream as a Partner of ECI Wind and Solar and in his new position as the Chairman of the Energy Technology Program at the Lafayette campus of Ivy Tech. Porter earned recognition as one of the few people in the State of Indiana who held NABCEP certification as both a Solar Thermal and Solar PV installer. ECI Wind and Solar is a founding member of Indiana Distributed Energy Advocates (IDEA) and the Indiana Renewable Energy Association (InREA).
Our deepest and most sincere condolences go to Craig Porter’s family and colleagues.
Laura Ann Arnold

Ivy Tech teacher dies in fall from Lafayette training tower


Written by
Eric Weddle, Lafayette Journal and Courier

6:53 AM, Nov. 3, 2011

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — An Ivy Tech Community College teacher died Wednesday pursuing his dream of a world that used clean energy.

Craig Porter, 36, fell from a training tower on the Ivy Tech campus in Lafayette. This was his first semester as chairman of the energy technology program at the Ivy Tech campus.

Porter was with a student around 12:30 p.m., conducting an exercise on a tower about 65 feet tall when he fell to the ground. The student was not injured.

Porter was taken to a Lafayette hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has initiated an investigation, spokesman Robert E. Dittmer said.

Porter’s passion for renewable energy showed years ago as he pursued a job, said a former business partner in ECI Wind and Solar in Fairmount.

Porter began at an hourly wage with ECI in 2006 and soon after was brought in as a full partner in the company, which works on renewable energy projects across the state.

“We found a guy that was above and beyond,” said Eric Cotton, co-owner of ECI. “He was so enthusiastic; he just loved solar. He loved wind. He loved the idea of producing energy that is good for the environment.”

Ivy Tech spokesman Tom McCool said an internal investigation into the death had begun.

As a result of the accident, Ivy Tech-Lafayette classes were canceled Wednesday. Classes will resume today.

Counseling will be available at 11 a.m. today for students, faculty or staff members who need help dealing with the tragedy, McCool said.

Porter remained a partner at ECI Wind and Solar with Cotton and John Perkinson after he became chairman of the Ivy Tech program to teach wind and solar power technologies, which began in 2009.

“He wanted to share this knowledge with the new guys who were going to be the ones to run this industry,” Cotton said of Porter’s decision to work at Ivy Tech.

Porter was well known locally because of ECI’s involvement in area projects, including installation of solar panels at Harrison High School and a wind turbine at Mintonye Elementary School. News of his death shocked many who had worked with him.

Sequoyah Bible, Tippecanoe School Corp. energy director, said Porter was instrumental in the school becoming a resource statewide and internationally for renewable energy. Data on energy created at the schools are publicly available.

“Personally, I am just so saddened by the news, and on behalf of TSC, I extend prayers to his immediate family and extended family,” he said. “It is such a tragedy.”

Attempts to reach Porter’s wife and two stepchildren were not successful Wednesday.

Porter attended high school in Lizton and attended Purdue University from 1992 to 1997, according to a profile for him posted on Linkedin.com.

Lafayette Journal and Courier reporter Sophia Voravong contributed to this story.



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