Monthly Archives: October 2017

Registration Open for “Introduction to Electric Vehicles” Class at UNO

January 8 – May 4, 2018
Tuesdays from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.
Peter Kiewit Institute – Room 259
1110 S 67th Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68182

Registration Information
Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECEN) 4980
Class Number: 28219
Maximum Class Enrollment: 10
Credit Hours: 1
Class Link

Instructor: Don Cox

After retiring from Stanford University, where he taught engineering courses and supervised graduate research, and where he had earned his Ph.D., Don Cox took a position at UNL as an adjunct professor in the College of Engineering. He is a UNL alum, with an M.S. degree in electrical engineering. His avocation is electric vehicles, and in addition to the EV class currently offered at UNO, he teaches a similar course at UNL.

Owner of four Teslas, Cox is known to generously offer demo rides to other EV enthusiasts, including UNL students and colleagues, as well as attendees at various community events, including Nebraska Sierra Club’s Drive Electric Week event in Omaha on September 9th.

Cox shares his Model S Tesla with former State Senator Ken Haar, who in his “retirement” is giving presentations on climate change all around Nebraska, including “gatherings in homes, churches and even Knights of Columbus meetings.” See Omaha World-Herald article written by Paul Hammel, The Good Life: Electric car does the driving, and talking, for climate change message around state.

 As noted above, UNO’s EV class enrollment is limited to 10.

Top photo credit: UNO, Peter Kiewit Institute. Photo by NET of Professor Cox and his Model S Tesla

Fortune 500’s, traditional utilities: Everyone is buying wind power

 By Tom Kiernan, CEO, American Wind Energy Association
Huffington Post Contributor

Our research team ran the numbers, and the wind industry’s third quarter results paint a clear picture: wind power is in high demand across all sectors of the electricity market. Look no further than American Electric Power’s (AEP) Wind Catcher project in Oklahoma, announced during the third quarter. It will be one of the world’s largest wind farms once completed. “There’s a rebalancing of the generation resources, not only in our company but in this country, that’s going on,” said Nick Akins, the chief executive of AEP. “This project is consistent with our strategy of investing in the energy resources of the future, and it will save our customers money while providing economic benefits to communities.”

Read more here.



Is Your Home Solar-Ready?

By Mike Watkins, Omaha World-Herald

That’s the main question David Holtzclaw of Transduction Technologies will be asking visitors October 28 at his exhibit during the Smart Energy Talk Conference at the UNO Milo Bail Student Activity Center.

“It’s important to walk them through the steps before they get serious about buying solar panels for their homes,” he said. “They need to make sure their houses are ready before taking this expensive but valuable step toward total home energy efficiency.”

Click here to continue reading.

Photo Credit: Consumer Reports Magazine

Where clean energy jobs are growing the fastest

By Irina Ivanova, CBS News

Of the 10 states where solar jobs grew fastest between 2015 and 2016, eight voted for Mr. Trump in the 2016 election, according to figures from the Solar Foundation, which tracks the industry. In the three top states — Oklahoma, Nebraska and Alaska — the number of people working in solar grew by 100 percent from 2015 to 2016.

“Solar has become a clean, inexpensive source of electricity. Especially on the utilities side, it’s competitive with gas and coal,” said Colin Smith, a solar analyst at GTM Research.

Read more here.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Solar Photovoltaic Installers

AWEA’s Q3 Report Released Today: US wind business booming with full construction and advanced development pipeline

Broadening group of utility and non-utility customers
value wind for its low cost, reliability.

NEW YORK — The roster of U.S. wind projects under construction and in advanced development as of the end of the third quarter of 2017 has reached 29,634 megawatts (MW), the highest level since this statistic was first measured at the beginning of 2016, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) out today. The U.S. Wind Industry Third Quarter 2017 Market Report shows wind power is competing for and winning the business of a growing set of major utilities and Fortune 500 brands.

AWEA released the Third Quarter Market Report from the annual Wind Energy Finance & Investment Conference in New York. Interest was evident from the U.S. wind power capital market, with a large number of investors, including tax equity, private equity, institutional, sovereign wealth funds, and banks, looking to provide financing to wind projects.

American Wind Energy Association is the national trade association of the U.S. wind energy industry, representing 1,000 member companies and over 100,000 jobs in the U.S. economy and serving as a powerful voice for how wind works for America. Members include global leaders in wind power and energy development, turbine manufacturing, and component and service suppliers. They gather each year at the Western Hemisphere’s largest wind power trade show, the AWEA WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition, next in Chicago, Illinois, May 7-10, 2018. Find information about wind energy on the AWEA website.


FREE Smart Energy Talks & Green Home Tour Coming Up Soon!

Green Omaha Coalition (GOC) and Omaha World-Herald have collaborated over the past several weeks to put together an outstanding educational opportunity you won’t want to miss! The Smart Energy Talks and the Green Home Tour are annual events geared toward promoting energy efficiency and environmentally-friendly practices for homeowners. New this year: Attendees can take a virtual Green Home Tour of local solar installations.

Panel discussions will focus on the importance of renewable energy in our communities and the challenges and benefits of electric vehicles on the grid. Exhibitors will be available from 10am to 2pm. These experts will explain the basics of solar technology and answer questions about preparing your home for solar, costs and savings involved, battery storage, types of solar energy systems, and how to get started.

The event is free and open to the public!
For more information, visit “Events” at Green Omaha Coalition and Omaha World-Herald.

Organic Valley launches community solar partnership

Wisconsin State Farmer

Solar Panels and Wind Turbines at Organic Valley’s Cashton Office Building: PRNews / Organic Valley

LA FARGE, WI – Organic Valley, America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and a leading organic brand, announced a first-of-its-kind community partnership that will enable Organic Valley to become the largest food company in the world to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources. In doing so, Organic Valley is embarking on an aggressive path to become carbon neutral. Continue reading.

Press Release: Organic Valley launches community solar partnership to be 100 percent renewably powered by 2019


The hottest job over the next decade is expected to be solar panel installer

By Jeff Cox, CNBC

  • The economy is projected to add 11.5 million jobs over the next decade, with the bulk in health care, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • In percentage terms, the biggest growth will come from solar panel installers at 105.3 percent — from 11,300 now to 23,200.
  • The projections come amid the slowest year for job growth since 2010, as the economy was still reeling from the financial crisis.

Read more here.

SEE ALSO: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Solar Photovoltaic Installer


Q&A: How counties can use transmission revenue for local benefits

By Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

A new report aims to highlight the financial benefits that transmission projects can bring to rural counties. Specifically, the report from the Center for Rural Affairs takes a closer look at how counties in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas were impacted economically by transmission lines – during construction of the project, after the lines are in service, and through the taxes and fees that accrue to government bodies.

‘It’s a familiar story that renewable energy brings economic development
to rural areas but we forget that transmission does that, too.”
     – Johnathan Hladik, Center for Rural Affairs Policy Director

Read more here.

Photo: Crews work on the CapX2020 line near St. Cloud, Minnesota in 2013.

One year along: FCS marks shutdown anniversary

By Cris Averett, OPPD The Wire

The 478.6-megawatt nuclear reactor, situated about 20 miles north of Omaha, operated as part of OPPD’s generating fleet for 43 years.

But, as the energy market shifted and operating costs continued to challenge the organization, OPPD leadership made the recommendation in May 2016 to cease operations at the site. Concurrent with that, they announced a proposal to freeze general rates through 2021.

Read more here.