Nebraskans for Solar Event – Lincoln’s Capitol Beach Community Solar Project: A Showcase Model for Nebraska

February 13, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
UNO's Community Engagement Center, Rooms 230/231
6400 University Drive South
Nebraska 68182

Nebraskans for Solar Event
Co-Sponsored by Allied Groups

Terry Wittler & Jeff Buhrman, Capitol Beach LLC

Michael Shonka, Solar Heat & Electric

Click here to view a Google Earth image of the solar project.

When Capitol Beach homeowners Terry Wittler and Jeff Buhrman in Lincoln came up with the idea of building a 50-kilowatt community solar project on a lot owned by their neighborhood association, they soon learned it wasn’t going to be a simple undertaking.

The Capitol Beach neighborhood is located ten minutes from downtown Lincoln. Year-round and weekend-getaway residences surround a beautiful private lake, actively
managed by the Capitol Beach Community Association. The Saline Wetlands Park lies
adjacent to the lake, with nature trails open to the public.

Michael Shonka, owner of Solar Heat and Electric, with thirty years of experience in the
solar energy field, and Lincoln Electric System collaborated with the homeowners to
develop the community solar facility, the first of its kind in Nebraska and a showcase
model for other neighborhoods and utilities.

In pioneering a new community solar model for the state, the group encountered several hurdles. For example, there was no provision in city zoning codes for building mid-size
solar projects in residential areas. The presenters will discuss these challenges and how they addressed each one. Their lessons learned provide a model for anyone interested in proposing the same idea to other Power Districts.

A Q&A will follow their presentation. All our events are open to the public. Please join us!

Guest parking is available in the lot in front of the Community Engagement Center. Enter through the parking booth, which is staffed with an attendant until 7 p.m. After 7 p.m. parking is also available in adjacent lots.


NFS will hold a drawing for ten copies of DIY Solar Power:
How To Power Everything From The Sun

Learn to build solar projects including:

  • Portable solar chargers
  • Off-grid energy storage
  • Grid-tie home energy
  • Solar boats & vehicles
  • Passive solar projects
  • And much more!