Category Archives: Solar Energy Education

First Congregational launches Lenten speaker series on climate

By Andy Raun, Hastings Tribune

First Congregational United Church of Christ [in Hastings] is inviting the community to an online Lenten Justice Speaker Series on Climate.

Feb. 28, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Ken Winston, policy director for the advocacy group Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light, on Nebraska legislative initiatives. (Guest preacher at morning worship will be UCC Pastor Penny Greer, a board member for Nebraska Interfaith Power & Light).

Anyone interested in the presentations and discussion may participate through Zoom or the church’s Facebook page, To participate by Zoom, email pastor@fcucchastings.org. The morning worship service also is streamed live on the Facebook page.

Read more and see a list of all upcoming virtual presentations and discussions here.

Religious Statements on Climate Change, National Interfaith Power & Light
Most religious communities have released statements on Climate Change and the need to care for Creation. The following list (organized alphabetically first by religion, then by denomination) demonstrates the unity within the religious community on these important issues.

Additional Statements & Books

Installing Your Own Solar Panels? First, Check This Checklist

By Joseph Burdick and Phillip Schmidt, Storey Publishing

If you can drive lag bolts and assemble prefabricated parts, and if you’re willing to spend a day or two on your roof (or not, if you’re mounting your panels on the ground), you can install your own solar system. You don’t have to know how to hook up the solar panels to your household electricity or the utility grid. You’ll hire an electrician for the house hookup, and the utility company will take care of the rest, usually for free. For a completely off-grid system, the utility company isn’t involved at all. Perhaps disappointingly, this job isn’t even a good excuse to buy new power tools, since the only one you need is a good drill. Read more here.

Photo from Burdick and Schmidt’s book, Install Your Own Solar Panels: Designing And Installing A Photovoltaic System to Power Your Home

Description

 

Homeowners can save thousands of dollars with this user-friendly manual, which follows the same process professional contractors use. This comprehensive DIY guide covers everything from assembling rooftop racking or building a ground-mount structure to setting up the electrical connections and making a battery bank for off-grid systems. – Storey Publishing

 

More About The Authors


Joseph Burdick
has more than 30 years of experience in the photovoltaics industry — from R&D, measurement, and testing to system design, installation, and project management. He is president and CEO of Burdick Technologies Unlimited, LLC, one of Colorado’s top renewable energy companies, and is also a professor at Ecotech Institute, where he trains students for careers in solar installation.

 


Philip Schmidt has been teaching readers how to do things for almost two decades. A former carpenter and longtime writer and editor, he is the author of 18 books, including PlyDesign, Decorating with Architectural Details, and The Complete Guide to Treehouses. He lives in Colorado with his wife, two daughters, and too many leftover building materials.

 

Links to Incentives, Depreciation and Net Metering Information, Nebraskans for Solar Resource

How much do Biden’s clean-energy jobs pay, and which U.S. states have the most?

By Rachel Koning Beals, Market Watch

At the start of 2020, clean energy employment could still count about 3.3 million workers nationwide. By comparison, Energy Department data shows that a fewer 1.12 million people had jobs in the traditional fuels sector in 2018, its latest year for complete data, and that number was expected to have risen 3% in 2019, although the site didn’t have final numbers.

“Pipe fitters, welders, steel workers are needed on solar farms, so are sheet-metal workers and construction workers. Many of those positions are entry-level and go up from there as skills help workers differentiate. In fact, there’s often a shortage of skilled clean energy workers,” said Bob Keefe, executive director of E2. “Education is going to be key. We need community colleges to ramp up; we need guidance counselors nudging kids in this direction.” Read more here.

MORE ABOUT E2

WIND & SOLAR EDUCATION & TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Northeast Community College in Norfolk

Central Community College at Hastings

Programs

Nebraska Wind For Schools Program
Nebraska Wind Application Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Solar Energy International’s Online Campus
Solar Energy International (SEI) has been providing online solar training and in-person workshops to students from around the world since its founding in 1991.

Search SEI’s Workshop Schedule for upcoming online solar training and renewable energy education opportunities.

SEI’s Free Online Course

RE100: Introduction To Renewable Energy is a free course that covers the basics of renewable energy, and is a great introduction for those new to the field, those who are looking to make a career change, or those who just want to learn more about energy from the sun, wind, and water, energy efficiency, and the basics of electricity.

CO Family Farm Taps Solar to Boost Revenues, Food Production

By Eric Galatas, Public News Service

As the nation moves to ramp up clean-energy productionJack’s Solar Garden, a locally owned farm just south of Longmont, could provide a model for family-scale operations across the U.S. The farm has boosted revenues after planting 3,200 solar panels, enough to power more than 300 homes, and uses the soil underneath to grow produce. Continue reading here.

Photo by the National Renewable Energy Lab: Jack’s Solar Garden in Boulder County offers tours to visiting farmers and local schools to help cultivate the next generation of agrivoltaic farmers.

Additional Recommended Reading & Viewing

  • YouTube Video: Agrivoltaics: Solar Panels Bring Life to Struggling Farms | NowThis

The Land Report

Bill Gates: America’s Top Farmland Owner, The Land Report

Land Report Infographic: Bill and Melinda Gates own farmland across 18 states,
including among their largest holdings 20,588 acres in Nebraska.

In January 2020, The Land Report announced the launch of a sustainability standard that was developed by US farmland owners and operators. Called Leading Harvest, the organization’s goal is to create a sustainability standard that can be implemented across the greatest swath of agricultural acreage. Currently, more than 2 million acres in 22 states and an additional 2 million acres in seven countries are represented. Among the participants in the 13-member Sustainable Agriculture Working Group are Ceres Partners, Hancock Natural Resources Group, The Rohaytn Group, and UBS Farmland Investors.

The Land Report Winter 2020. Posted on January 11, 2021 by the Land Report Editors 

America’s 100 Largest Landowners 2020, The Land Report

Land Report 100

Nebraska Agriculture Fact Card, February 2020, Nebraska Department of Agriculture

Nebraska’s Natural Resources

  • Nebraska’s farms and ranches utilize 45 million acres, 92% of the state’s total land area.
  • Nebraska is fortunate to have aquifers below it. If poured over the surface of the state, the water in those aquifers would have a depth of 37.9 feet.
  • Nearly 80,000 miles of rivers and streams add to Nebraska’s bountiful natural resources.
  • There are 22 million acres of rangeland and pastureland in Nebraska, half of which are in the Sandhills.

“Property Brother” Jonathan Scott’s Solar Documentary Now Available For Viewing At Your Convenience

Solar energy evangelist and “Property Brother” Jonathan Scott journeys all across the U.S. to uncover why clean, renewable energy isn’t available to all. While traveling to learn both the obstacles and opportunities for achieving energy freedom, Jonathan talks with conservatives fighting for solar freedom; sits down with farmers struggling to make ends meet; engages coal workers desperate for a new, healthy means of making an income; the Navajo Nation who built a utility-scale solar plant; religious leaders who made a desperate attempt to help meet their community’s energy needs; and politicians at the forefront of the battle for energy freedom.

Watch the full video here.

SOLAR INCENTIVES

 

Links to Incentives, Depreciation & Net Metering Information

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING 

Premiers November 16: “Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip”

Solar energy evangelist and “Property Brother” Jonathan Scott journeys all across the U.S. to uncover why clean, renewable energy isn’t available to all. While traveling to learn both the obstacles and opportunities for achieving energy freedom, Jonathan talks with conservatives fighting for solar freedom; sits down with farmers struggling to make ends meet; engages coal workers desperate for a new, healthy means of making an income; the Navajo Nation who built a utility-scale solar plant; religious leaders who made a desperate attempt to help meet their community’s energy needs; and politicians at the forefront of the battle for energy freedom.

Learn more and watch the trailer here.

You are invited to DOE’s National Community Solar Partnership Virtual Summit

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office invites you to join the National Community Solar Partnership (NCSP) Virtual Summit on Thursday, October 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT. The summit will highlight partners’ innovations and progress to date in ensuring access to affordable community solar for every U.S. household by 2025. The event will feature speakers from leading community solar organizations and highlight case studies of innovative community solar projects from across the country. Register here.

This event is hosted by Nation of Makers, a Power Connector supporting the American-Made Network through the National Renewable Energy Lab.

“Solar Lease Considerations for Landowners” Webinar Recording & Slides Now Available!

Presented By Nebraska & Ohio Extension Specialists

For those who missed the October 9th webinar and those who want to watch again, click here to view the recording and slides.  

Speakers

  • F. John Hay – Department of Biosystems Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Eric Romich – Extension Field Specialist Energy Development, Ohio State University Extension
  • Peggy Kirk Hill – Director Ag and Resource Law Program, Ohio State University Extension

The webinar gives an overview of solar development and addresses major issues for farmers, landowners, and their families to consider when negotiating a long term, utility-scale solar lease agreement.

“Solar Land Lease Considerations for Landowners” Webinar: Presented by Nebraska & Ohio Extension Specialists This Friday!

NDEE RESOURCE
Solar Energy Generation in Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

NEBRASKA LB 824
In 2016 the Nebraska Legislature passed LB 824, which removed some regulatory barriers connected to renewable energy development in our state.

Solar energy is better for the environment and your pockets

By Alyssa Curtis, KMTV

BELLEVUE – The country’s largest renewable energy event is being held this week. National Solar Tours is an opportunity for people around the country to learn about making the switch to solar energy from their neighbors. Continue reading or watch the video here.

Part of the National Solar Tour: Don Preister’s home in Bellevue with solar + a geothermal heat pump.
Solar Installation: 8.4-kilowatt, grid-tied, OPPD net-metered system, ground mounted on south-facing slope with no battery storage (yet) and 28 optimizers. Installation was completed in December 2016, with enough capacity for all electrical needs in an all-electric residence of 2000 square feet. There is extra capacity to charge his electric vehicle.
Photo Credit: Eugene Curtin / Bellevue Leader
Installer: Solar Heat & Electric with help from the Preister brothers

Are you installing solar for your home or business? See Links to Incentives, Depreciation and Net Metering

MISSOURI REAP PROJECTS

Missouri Farmers Increasingly Look To Solar To Power Their Operations, KCUR Here and Now Story by Jonathan Ahl, Harvest Public Radio

Chris Bohr’s farm in Martinsburg, Missouri, has hundreds of acres of soybeans and corn. It also has a 5,000 head hog barn that requires a lot of electricity to power its ventilation system, cooling fans and lights. About fifty yards away from the barn are three rows of solar panels. Bohr is among a growing number of farmers that are generating solar power to meet their needs. Bohr received a Rural Energy for America Program, or REAP, grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to help pay for his solar panels. And the number of farmers applying for the grants is going up.

PV MAGAZINE ARTICLES

FROM ENERGY NEWS NETWORK

Grid congestion a growing barrier for wind, solar developers in MISO territory, Energy News Network
A recent analysis found 245 clean energy projects that were withdrawn during the advanced stages of development, with many blaming a lack of transmission capacity.

NEW WOODMAC REPORT

Global Energy Storage Capacity to Hit 741GWh by 2030, Greentech Media
The U.S. will account for half of the world’s installed energy storage capacity by the end of the decade. Global energy storage capacity is now expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent through 2030, according to Wood Mackenzie’s new global storage outlook.

COMMUNITY STORAGE

SMUD’s Energy StorageShares program: The first virtual energy storage program in the US, Renewable Energy World

SMUD’s innovative Energy StorageShares program is the first virtual energy storage program in the US. StorageShares allows SMUD’s commercial customers to invest in an off-site battery storage system and enjoy energy cost savings without siting batteries at their facilities. In this newly launched pilot program, eligible commercial customers make an up-front payment to SMUD for program participation; in exchange, they receive a monthly on-bill credit. SMUD bundles the investments from program participants with its own capital, procures a battery, and installs it in a location that optimizes grid benefits.

ALSO PUBLISHED BY RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD

NEBRASKA CLIMATE CHANGE STORIES

These stories were developed as part of a yearlong UNL College of Journalism and Mass Communications depth-reporting project examining the impact of climate change on Nebraska. To learn more, visit: climatechangenebraska.com

SOLAR ACCESS IN HISPANIC COMMUNITIES

Investing in equitable access to solar energy for Hispanic communities, PV Magazine article contributed by Javiar Chacon, a Customer Analyst on the SREC Operations team at Sol Systems, where he works closely with customers to help mint their SRECs.

As one of the fastest growing American communities, the Hispanic population has been historically underrepresented in solar energy. The barriers that have excluded Hispanic people from solar, however, are not permanent and work can be done to ensure an equitable energy transition.

HDR & LANDFILL SOLAR 

Rethinking post-closure landfill care, Waste Today Magazine
HDR Inc., Omaha, Nebraska, has been supporting municipal and private solid waste clients for over 40 years with the planning, permitting and construction of secure solid waste landfills across the U.S. Of HDR’s beneficial use projects, one of the company’s most reputable post-closure developments is the Hickory Ridge Landfill in Atlanta. In 2010, HDR utilized a new exposed geomembrane solar cap technology to transform the landfill into the largest solar energy-generating facility in Georgia.

According to the company, it is the world’s largest solar energy cap and the first use of the technology as part of a fully permitted landfill final closure system. Utilizing over 7,000 solar panels to convert sunlight into more than 1 megawatt of clean, renewable electricity, the new technology essentially takes a durable, high-strength geomembrane material made for outdoor exposure on roofs and secures it to the landfill like a bedsheet through the use of vertical anchor trenches.