By Greg Alvarez, head editor and writer for Into the Wind, the AWEA Blog
American wind power is in the midst of a Texas-sized boom to start 2017. The industry just posted its best first quarter in eight years, and put up a new turbine every two hours and 24 minutes over the year’s first three months. So what top trends are emerging?
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
AWEA’s Updated Nebraska Wind Energy Fact Sheet:
- Nebraska is one of the top states in the country for potential wind energy generation, with a technical potential of approximately 880,000 megawatts (MW) according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
- Nebraska now has 1,328 MW of installed wind power.
- State rank for installed wind capacity: 17th
- Number of wind turbines: 741
- Wind projects online: 21 (Projects over 10 MW: 14)
- Direct and indirect jobs supported: 3,001 to 4,000
- Total capital investment: $1.7 billion
- Annual land lease payments: $1-5 million
Nebraska Wind Energy Fact Sheet, American Wind Energy Association
BENEFITS TO RURAL COMMUNITIES
JOBS & LOCAL WIND TECH TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES
What are wind techs, why are they so much in demand, and how do you become one?
Nebraska Community Colleges’ 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 Assistance Program Contacts
Central Community College: Ronald Kluck: 402-562-1253 firstname.lastname@example.org
Metropolitan Community College: Scott Broady: 402-738-4526 email@example.com
Mid-Plains Community College: Angela Raby: 308-535-3678 firstname.lastname@example.org
Southeast Community College: Amy Chesley: 402-437-2711 email@example.com
Western Nebraska Community College: Doug Mader: 308-630-6556 firstname.lastname@example.org