Tag Archives: Central Community College

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.

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.


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


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

Olivia Whittaker

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


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.


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.


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


CCC wind turbine source of energy, education

By Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

“As far as the facility itself, at its peak it will generate enough energy to run the campus,” Campus President Bill Hitesman said. “Everything we get back from Hastings Utilities will be clean energy.” Construction started on the project in October and finished a couple weeks ago. The turbine was online as of Dec. 23 and is now sending power to the Hastings Utilities grid. Hitesman said CCC is in process of putting together a wind energy curriculum. Read more.

Photo: A wind turbine built south of the Central Community College (CCC) campus in partnership with Bluestem Energy Solutions, Hastings Utilities and CCC. Credit: Amy Roh, Hastings Tribune via Associated Press

Nebraska’s Central Community College recognized for going green, Columbus Telegram

Student-led solar projects at Utah’s universities

Two of the solar arrays on the west penthouse of the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. Universities across Utah are leaders in student-led sustainability programs and practices. Photo Credit: J. Willard Marriott Library

Two of the solar arrays on the west penthouse of the J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah. Universities across Utah and the nation are spearheading student-led sustainability programs that include renewable energy projects. Photo Credit: J. Willard Marriott Library

USA Today: Solar power more affordable for some Utah students, by Matthew Kunes

[Weber State University], an hour north of Salt Lake City, is one of many state universities tackling sustainable solutions to reduce the campus’s carbon footprint, which includes carbon neutrality, clean energy and energy efficiency. This year, its Sustainability Practices and Research Center will launch a new solar program that allows students, faculty and community members affordable access to solar energy for their homes. A typical five-panel set up, for example, might cost $2000, half of the normal expense.

Weber followed in the footsteps of a similar program sponsored by the University of Utah, which brought solar energy to Salt Lake City “U Community Solar” program in 2014.

Read more here.

In his article, Matthew Kunes mentions the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment. Universities, colleges, and community colleges across our nation have pledged to combat climate change, including the following signatories in Nebraska:

Central Community College, College of Saint Mary, Creighton University, Doane College

The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (PDF)