Tag Archives: Central Community College

Central Community College-Hastings program trains for high-demand careers

Letter to the Editor by Taylor Schneider
The Grand Island Independent

In 2019, Central Community College-Hastings officially started its Energy Technology (ETEC) program. The program is unique by offering certificates in wind and solar energy technology and classes in battery storage technology. Over the next five years, clean energy is expected to grow by 56% while general industry will only grow by approximately 5%. Continue reading here.

Taylor Schneider is an Energy Technology Instructor at CCC-Hastings.
Previously Posted: CCC introduces unique renewable energy program, Hastings Tribune

WIND & SOLAR EDUCATION & TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES

Central Community College at Hastings

Programs

Northeast Community College in Norfolk

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

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.”

MORE ABOUT E2 – ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEURS

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

U.S. Bureau of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook

UPCOMING EVENT 

First Congregational United Church of Christ in Hastings is hosting an online Lenten Justice Speaker Series on Climate. The public is invited.

On March 14, starting at 12:30 pm: Taylor Schneider, an instructor at Central Community College-Hastings, will discuss the college’s wind and solar energy programs. The guest preacher for morning worship will be Dan Deffenbaugh, associate dean of instruction-academic education at CCC-Hastings and author of the 2007 book, Learning the Language of the Fields: Tilling and Keeping as Christian Vocation.

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.

Gering City Council Looking at Renewable Energy Options

By Ryan Murphy, KNEB

 

The Gering City Council passed an ordinance Monday evening aimed at increasing the usage of renewable energy in the future. Rich Andrysik, a professional engineer with the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, spoke to the council about Renewable Distributed Generation.

Read more here.

 

Additional Recommended Reading
MEAN Board Approves Resolution On Vision For Carbon Neutrality By 2050, MEAN News Release

PRINCETON REVIEW’S 2021 GUIDE TO GREEN COLLEGES

CCC recognized for ‘going green’, Hastings Tribune
[Central Community College] is among 416 institutions to have been included in the latest “Guide to Green Colleges,” based on a survey of administrators at 695 colleges and universities in 2019-20 concerning their institutions’ commitment to the environment and sustainability through policies, practices and programs. Editors for The Princeton Review analyzed the survey responses using more than 25 data points to make selections for the “Guide to Green Colleges,” which is available for free online and directs viewers to the colleges’ and universities’ websites. Other Nebraska institutions included in the 2021 guide are the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Creighton University in Omaha.

ANNUAL LAZARD REPORT

Wind remains cheaper, but solar’s costs are falling faster, Lazard finds, Utility Dive
The levelized cost of onshore wind generation has declined 2% over the past year to an average of $26/MWh, while the cost of utility-scale solar dropped 9% to an average of $31/MWh, when accounting for government subsidies, according to an annual analysis released last week by Lazard, a financial advisory and asset management firm.

IEEFA REPORT 

Global Financial Institutions Plan For Major Oil & Gas Lending Exits, CleanTechnica
Financial institutions have begun the long overdue process of restricting oil and gas funding. According to an October, 2020 report generated by the Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis (IEEFA), over 100 and counting globally significant financial institutions have announced their divestment from coal. Additionally, an IEEFA tracker indicates that 50 globally significant financial institutions have introduced policies restricting oil sands and/or oil and gas drilling in the Arctic, including 23 to date this year. They’re leaving coal, oil, LNG, fossil gas, oil sands, and Arctic drilling.

CLEAN TECHNICA ARTICLES

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

On The Navajo Reservation, Turning From Coal To Renewables

By Laurel Morales, NET Nebraska

The Navajo and Hopi have fought hard to hold onto coal. Three generations have worked for the west’s largest coal-fired power plant, the Navajo Generating Station. The tribes have relied heavily on its revenue. So when the Phoenix-based Salt River Project announced it was shutting down the plant at the end of the year, the tribe scrambled to find a buyer or — as a last resort — purchase the plant themselves. It finally came down to a vote late last month at a Navajo Nation Council Special Session meeting. The delegates deliberated for eight hours.
Read more here.

Additional Recommended Reading

Nebraska News

Corporate Purchasing News & Opinion

Hastings, Adams County gear up for solar future

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

After John Carllson put up a 40-foot by 80-foot shop last year at his home in Ayr, it just made sense to cover the south side of the roof with solar panels. His brother had erected solar panels at his home in Hordville. Carllson and his wife, Linda, were inspired. “I’d been kicking it around, and after I put the building up we talked it over,” said Carllson, who retired from working in the Hastings Utilities gas department. “I think it’s the coming thing. It’s free power from the sun.” Continue reading here.

Photo by Amy Roh: Heath Jennings (left) and Johnny Moser, of Interconnection Systems Incorporated out of Central City, install solar panels Tuesday in Ayr.

ALSO WRITTEN BY TONY HERMAN
Renewable energy now key component of development, Hastings Tribune
As officials from the city of Hastings have discussed a community solar project to diversify the local energy generation profile, one of the considerations most often talked about is how renewables may enhance economic development prospects. That has certainly been the case in Omaha.

RENEWABLE ENERGY EDUCATION 

CCC center in Kearney showcases technology

Kearney Hub 

One year ago we raved when Central Community College opened its 63,000-square-foot center in southwest Kearney. The structure at 11th Street and 30th Avenue employs numerous strategies for energy efficiency. Among the strategies are innovative skylights, solar-powered lights in the parking lot, walls that seal out heat and cold, and windows that can darken like sunglasses to reduce the greenhouse effect to rein in air conditioning costs.

The CCC Kearney Center also is purchasing power from the SoCore solar array at TechoNE Crossing, Nebraska’s largest solar array. Combined with the many efficiencies, adding the solar power boosts the center’s green rating and makes it a model of modern eco-friendly engineering, construction and facility operations. Continue reading here.

Top Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

KEARNEY’S COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM

Project: Kearney’s solar farm consists of approximately 23,000 panels on 53 acres located in the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. To date, the array is Nebraska’s largest solar project, generating 5.8 megawatts of electricity, or about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.
Developer: SoCore Energy
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska
NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program

Photo Credit: SoCore Energy, LLC

Small as energy maker, solar farm generates big interest

By Mike Konz, The Kearney Hub

Mayor Stan Clouse said Kearney hopes its solar farm
enhances the city’s attraction among high-tech firms.

KEARNEY — Covering 53 acres in northeast Kearney and comprising 22,464 panels, the SoCore solar farm at the city of Kearney’s Tech oNE Crossing is Nebraska’s largest. Rated at 5.7 megawatts, the solar array’s generating capacity is enough to power about 900 houses or supply 5 percent of Kearney’s energy load . . . The University of Nebraska at Kearney bought 52 percent of the shares — enough to provide about 25 percent of the campus’ electrical needs. Central Community College’s Kearney Center just went online with 350 shares. That’s 5 percent of the solar farm’s capacity and enough power to cover all of the electrical needs at CCC’s $23 million, ultra-energy efficient facility in southwest Kearney. Read more here.

Photo Credit: SoCore Energy

Information Links
Developer: SoCore Energy
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska
NPPD’s SunWise Initiative
SunWise is a community solar program available in participating Nebraska Public Power District retail communities.

Another distinguishing feature of Kearney’s Solar Farm is that it is a nationally-recognized pollinator-friendly site, benefiting local food producers. 

Photo by Rob Davis, Fresh Energy

Central Community College hosting Earth Week events at 3 campuses

HASTINGS — “Honoring Nebraska’s First Farmers” will highlight Central Community College’s Earth Week activities from April 19 through April 28.

“Honoring Nebraska’s First Farmers” will focus on the Pawnee Nation’s early corn growing and will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at CCC’s Hastings Campus on Saturday, April 28. Hunter Lovins of Longmont, Colo., an author and promoter of sustainable development, will be the keynote speaker. Deb Echo-Hawk of the Pawnee Nation will give a presentation on “New Hope from Old Crops.” Read more here.

Renewable Energy Events Include:

  • April 19Tour of Aurora Wastewater Treatment Plant Solar Array, shown in the photo. See Solar Examples for additional details about the project.
  • April 28: Renewable Energy Presentation by Bluestem Energy Solutions

Click here for a complete list of events.

For any questions, please contact CCC’s Environmental Sustainability Office

Benjamin Newton
benjaminnewton@cccneb.edu
308-398-7962

Olivia Whittaker
oliviawhittaker@cccneb.edu
308-338-4033

UNK will purchase more than half of the electricity from Nebraska’s largest solar farm in Kearney

By Cole Epley, Omaha World-Herald

Operators of the state’s largest solar farm have yet to publicly market shares of the community solar project being built at Kearney’s technology park. But six months before Chicago-based SoCore Energy completes the project in Kearney, organizers have already landed a high-profile taker that will purchase more than half of the electricity generated by the $11 million project. The University of Nebraska at Kearney expects to get about 12 gigawatts of electricity a year from the 5.8-megawatt solar farm through its purchase of about 3,600 “shares” in the project. Continue reading.

Photo: Jon Watts, left, UNK’s vice chancellor for business and finance, with Kearney Mayor Stan Clouse. The solar farm is being built in Kearney. Credit: UNK Communications

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

What are wind techs, why are they so much in demand, and how do you become one?

By Anna Luke, Into the Wind, American Wind Energy Association Blog


Where are wind tech jobs located?

Most wind tech jobs are located in the center of the country and west coast. This makes
sense – the jobs are near the turbines, and those areas are where most of the country’s wind towers have been built. But there are utility-scale wind projects in 41 states, and every one of those wind farms needs a team of technicians to keep things running smoothly. As wind energy expands to other areas, including offshore development, even more techs will be needed.

For more information about the profession, visit the U.S. Department of Labor website. And check out this video to hear what it’s like to work as a wind tech:

Read the entire AWEA blog post here.

NEWS STORIES ABOUT NEBRASKA WIND TECH TRAINING PROGRAMS

NEBRASKA COMMUNITY COLLEGE GAP ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Nebraska’s Community College Gap Assistance Program offers financial aid to community college students taking non-credit courses that could lead to jobs in high-need fields. Eligible fields include renewable energy. 

Qualifying applicants are low-income students who would not be eligible for federal financial aid because, although they’re enrolled in college, they are not enrolled in courses for credit that lead directly to a degree.

The program, which launched July 1, 2016, receives 9 percent of the available Nebraska Lottery funds set aside for education every year. This equates to about $1.4 million for FY 2016-17. Gap Program funds will be distributed to the state’s community colleges, which will recruit and select eligible low-income students in identified high-need fields to receive grants.

Eligible students must have a family income at or below 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Student grants can be used for tuition, direct training costs, required books and equipment, and fees, including those for industry testing services and background check services.

ADDITIONAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

COMMUNITY COLLEGE GAP CONTACT INFORMATION
Central Community College: Ronald Kluck: 402-562-1253 rkluck@cccneb.edu
Metropolitan Community College: Scott Broady: 402-738-4526 sbroady@mccneb.edu
Mid-Plains Community College: Angela Raby: 308-535-3678 rabya@mpcc.edu
Southeast Community College: Amy Chesley: 402-437-2711 achesley@southeast.edu
Western Nebraska Community College: Doug Mader: 308-630-6556 madder@wncc.net

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING / VIEWING