Monthly Archives: May 2016

Michigan high school student’s senior science project: Raising funds to install a 7-kilowatt PV system at his school

By Kyle Kaminski, Record-Eagle


TRAVERSE CITY — Not all high school science projects come with a $25,000 price tag. Senior Caleb Brown admits his idea to install solar panels at Northport Public School is ambitious. The required paperwork and permits alone is bewildering. But when he tacked on the thousands of dollars needed to get the senior project off the ground — the concept seemed unfathomable.
“Once in the middle of the year, I was starting to think I didn’t know how I was going to raise all this money,” Brown said. Continue reading.

Photo: Record-Eagle. Northport Public School senior Caleb Brown said that his solar array project will be complete by mid-summer.

Solar Power On The Rise in Nebraska

By Fred Knapp, Reporter/Producer, NET News

NET story

Click image to view 20-second video of a panel being installed at
Lincoln Electric System’s community solar project.

When people talk about renewable energy in Nebraska, they’re usually talking about wind power. But the use of solar power is on track to more than quintuple in the state this year, with the prospect of more to come in the future. Read or listen to the entire story here.

LES ready to reap the sun, by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star
Despite frequent rains and occasional hail, Nebraska’s first commercial solar energy project is on track to begin harvesting sunlight for Lincoln Electric System by June 20. On a recent afternoon, crews stood in mud bolting photovoltaic panels on top of metal frames. Once complete, the solar power system will wake each morning with the sun and track it across the sky converting light to electricity. The nearly 5 megawatt facility sits on a portion of a 46-acre site along a gravel portion of West Holdrege near Northwest 75th Street. The usable output of the array will be about 3.6 megawatts, capable of powering about 900 Lincoln homes, said LES spokeswoman Erin Hergott. Click here to continue reading and view a series of photos.

Renewable Resources Set New Records in US Electricity Generation in 1Q16

Photo Credit: Clean Technica

Photo Credit: CleanTechnica

By Kenneth Bossong, Renewable Energy World

Defying all projections, wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources set a series of records for domestic electrical generation during the first quarter of 2016. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest, just-released “Electric Power Monthly” report (with data for the first three months of 2016), net U.S. electrical generation from non-hydro renewables (i.e.,biomass, geothermal, solar, wind) increased by 22.9 percent compared to the first quarter of 2015. Continue reading.

Kenneth Bossong is the Executive Director of the SUN DAY Campaign. The SUN DAY Campaign is a non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1993 to promote sustainable energy technologies as cost-effective alternatives to nuclear power and fossil fuels.

Powering knowledge: Program helps kids learn about renewable energy

By Jane Carlson, QCOnline / Radish Magazine
Iowa Governor's STEM program photo
Building a model wind turbine or solar car is not out of reach for students, thanks to a unique program at the University of Northern Iowa. Inspired by the memoir, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” about a young boy who built a windmill for his family’s electricity source, Fabulous Resources for Energy Education (F.R.E.E.) offers kits for students that put renewable resources into their own hands. The kits have been available for more than 10 years, according to Patricia Higby, energy education and outreach coordinator for the Center for Energy and Environmental Education (CEEE) at UNI, which oversees the F.R.E.E. program. Read more here.

Photo: Courtesy of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council. A boy enjoys learning more about wind turbines with a University of Northern Iowa Fabulous Resources for Energy Education wind turbine kit.

F.R.E.E. Resources & Kits for Purchase 
As the article mentions, F.R.E.E. also provides downloadable energy resources, and the renewable energy kits are available for purchase, with quantity discounts. These include the Energy Educator’s Kit, Geared Wind Turbine Kit, Junior Wind Turbine Kit, and the Solar Car Kit.
Fabulous Resources for Energy Education’s Online Store 

More renewable energy resources are available at Nebraska Solar Schools’ website. Click on “Going Solar” for information about the program & “Curriculum Resources” for projects & activities. Most of them are free or inexpensive.

The Role of Women Internationally in Decarbonizing Our Energy Future – May 31st Webcast of Fifth Annual C3E Symposium



The live webcast begins at 10:45 a.m. CDT. Throughout the day, speakers will discuss key energy topics, including post-Paris implementation, energy start-up companies, and clean energy in emerging economies and the role of women leaders.

The 2016 C3E Award winners will be announced throughout the event. The C3E Awards recognize the outstanding leadership and extraordinary achievements of women working to advance clean energy. This year there are eight mid-career winners and one distinguished woman being recognized for lifetime achievement.

Click here for a list of speakers and additional details.

OPPD chief presents nuclear plant plan in Blair

By Katie Rohman, Washington County Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise

Tim BurkeOnce the plant is decommissioned, the greenfield site could “create some opportunity” for the neighboring biorefinery campus, said Burke, who serves as chairman of economic development on the Greater Omaha Chamber Board of Directors Executive Committee. The FCS site could also be a location for other power generation options besides nuclear. “Certainly, it could create some great economic development as well,” he said. Burke encouraged the public to come to the OPPD board meeting at 10 a.m.  [June] 16 at Energy Plaza in Omaha. Read more.

News Release
Board Meeting Presentation (PDF)
OPPDListens.Com for more information and to provide feedback.
 here for a list of FAQs.

SAVE THE DATE! President & CEO Tim Burke will present a forum hosted by Nebraskans for Solar on June 8th at UNO’s Community Engagement Center. The public is invited.

New U.S. Map Shows Where Companies Can Buy Renewable Energy Through the Grid

Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance / World Resources Institute

REBA map

The Corporate Renewable Strategy Map reveals where large energy buyers can access the renewable energy they want at the scale they need through their utility. This interactive tool tracks their options in different states.

Companies can use this map to consider siting new facilities and to prioritize their renewable energy purchasing strategies. It highlights green tariff programs and other utility energy products that allow customers to meet their clean energy goals and lower electricity costs.
It compares each product to the Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles.

Buyers’ Principles signatories, including Amazon, Google, Microsoft, GM, Yahoo, IKEA and approximately 100 others, need to buy nearly 44 million megawatt hours of renewable energy across the US by 2020. States that offer products can compete for this economic development, and companies can more effectively access this information using the interactive Corporate Renewable Strategy Map and other Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) resources.

Corporate Renewable Energy Buyers’ Principles

New U.S. Map Shows Companies Where to Buy the Renewable Energy They Want, World Resources Institute
A New Chapter for Renewable Energy Buyers, Rocky Mountain Institute

Antelope County wind energy project still up in the air

Wind Turbines in Steele City

Written by Jerry Guenther, The Norfolk Daily News

NELIGH — North Dakota to Texas is what Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen calls the wind energy “sweet spot.” Hansen leads the state’s second largest farm organization that consists of about 4,000 farmers and ranchers and has been working on wind energy development since the mid-1990s. He said the U.S. Department of Energy ranks Nebraska as third in the nation for wind energy development, so it was only a matter of time before Northeast Nebraska and Antelope County would become a “hot spot.” Continue reading.

The next public meeting will be held Tuesday, June 7th.

Photo: Wind turbines dot the landscape near Steele City, Nebraska. Credit: Associated Press / Nati Harnik

The “Omaha Gives” 2016 Campaign

Omaha Gives

Thank you to everyone who contributed to Nebraskans for Solar during the 24-hour Omaha Gives Campaign, and to the Omaha Community Foundation for sponsoring this outstanding annual event! Your gifts will make a difference in our efforts to bring more solar energy education and development to Nebraska, in partnership with many other nonprofit organizations and individuals like you!

Please join us at our next event at UNO’s Community Engagement Center on June 8th at 7 p.m. and take home a small gift from all of us at Nebraskans for Solar: 12-ounce bags of delicious, Fair Trade solar-roast coffee from Guatemala, Ethiopia and Sumatra.


Click here to link to our June 8th event announcement. 

Clean-Energy Jobs Surpass Oil Drilling for First Time in U.S.

By Anna Hirtenstein, Bloomberg

Getty Images : Bloomberg

The number of U.S. jobs in solar energy overtook those in oil and natural gas extraction for the first time last year, helping drive a global surge in employment in the clean-energy business as fossil-fuel companies faltered. Employment in the U.S. solar business grew 12 times faster than overall job creation, the International Renewable Energy Agency said in a report on Wednesday. Fed by state initiatives to spur clean energy and innovative financing measures offered by companies such as SolarCity Corp., developers are adding workers at record rates to install rooftop panels.

Read more about the growth of U.S. and global renewable energy jobs here.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bloomberg
SEE ALSO: The Solar Energy Industries Association’s Infographic