Tag Archives: Northeast Community College

Renewable energy project developer selects Norfolk for office

Norfolk Daily News 

Bluestem Energy Solutions — a developer, owner and operator of renewable energy generation projects — has announced plans to open a new office in Norfolk. The location will be the third Bluestem office in the state of Nebraska, joining the headquarters in Omaha and a service center in Columbus.

The Omaha-based company chose Norfolk for its new office to better serve customers in the area. “Over the last nine years, we have built strong partnerships throughout the entire state,” said Mitch Hyde, Bluestem’s director of operations. “As we continue to expand and have operating projects in rural parts of the state, we felt it was important to have offices and staff in communities closer to our facilities.” Read more here.

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.



Northeast Community College in Norfolk

Central Community College at Hastings


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.

Honoring America’s wind workforce veterans this Veterans Day

By Jen Scungio, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Dedication. Teamwork. Honor. Commitment to Service. Discipline. Leadership. These are all qualities and skills that are representative of the men and women serving the United States military. The unique skills that veterans bring to the table as they transition into civilian life are ideal for a career in wind. Developing, building, and operating land-based and offshore wind farms requires a technical knowledge base, teamwork, and discipline. Our veterans play an important role in creating the highly-skilled wind energy workforce.

Wind companies recognize the transferable skills our veterans bring to a career in renewables. In fact, the U.S. wind industry employs our nation’s veterans at a rate 61 percent above the national average. With wind turbine technician as the fastest growing job in the country according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, wind is creating the career opportunities of the future as our military members leave active duty.

To celebrate Veteran’s Day 2020, we honor the more than 11,000 U.S. veterans that work in wind energy.  Here are some of their stories: Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: AWEA Free Use Wind Energy Image Gallery

Related AWEA Blog Posts

In Nebraska: Learn about Northeast Community College’s Wind Energy Degrees and Programs here.

Northeast Community College & Norfolk Area Chamber To Host NE Chamber Fall Forum: “Straight Talk With State Leaders”

NORFOLK, Neb. – The Norfolk Area Chamber of Commerce and Northeast Community College invite business and manufacturing leaders across the college’s 20-county service area to participate in the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Fall Forum.

The event will be held on Fri., Oct. 23, at 8 a.m., through a Zoom webinar. There is no cost to attend. Featured speakers include Nebraska Chamber President Bryan Slone, Blueprint Nebraska President Jim Smith, Northeast Community College President Leah Barrett, and state legislators and legislative candidates in 2020.

Named “Straight Talk with State Leaders,” this year’s fall forums are designed to inspire community dialogue on economic development and workforce needs unique to each region. They also provide a forum for state and local chamber members to engage directly with local state legislators and legislative candidates as the 2020 General Election approaches.

“Northeast Community College serves an important role in training future employees for our employers across the region,” Barrett said. “I look forward to our discussions during the Fall Forum to continue to explore ideas that will ensure that our skilled workforce development needs of business and industry are met for generations to come.”

“The Nebraska Chamber Fall Forums have been a time-honored tradition among state and local chamber members for years. In addition to offering valuable time with state leaders and candidates in an election year, they offer a chance for frank, two-way communication between Chamber members and leadership on the issues affecting business,” Slone said. “We just could not forego the Fall Forums due to the pandemic, so we reworked them into a model that is arguably even more compelling as we march toward economic recovery.”

Register to view the ZOOM forum here.

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the largest business association in the state and has served as the voice of Nebraska’s business community to state leaders since 1912.

An Open Letter on COVID-19: The Resilience of the Solar Industry

By Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA Blog Post

Alongside our members and allies, we have conducted hundreds of phone calls and video meetings with legislators at the state and federal level to talk about how COVID-19 is affecting solar companies, what policymakers can do to #SaveSolarJobs, and how this industry is poised to help rebuild the U.S. economy. There is much more work to be done — and I strongly encourage you to join us in this campaign.

We also are taking care of the day-to-day business of ensuring development and implementation of smart state policiesfighting for trade policies that do no further harm to solar and advocating fiercely for competitive markets and open access for clean energy at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative and other agencies to get the best possible outcomes for our industry. Read more here.




#AmericanWindWeek 2020: Wind Builds the Future, Into The Wind, AWEA Blog
August is fast approaching, and that means it’s time to start planning for #AmericanWindWeek 2020, happening August 9-15. And to get your creative juices flowing, we’re happy to announce this year’s theme: Wind Builds the Future.


$4.7 Million Grant From Eric & Wendy Schmidt to NPR Collaborative Journalism Network, NPR News Release

All 25 public radio stations in Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska serving some 63 cities will have access to content produced by the Midwest regional newsroom, which will be led by the largest public media stations in the region–KCUR in Kansas City, St. Louis Public RadioIowa Public Radio and NET in Nebraska–with NPR as the national partner.

The grant will add investigative units in California and the Midwest, enabling the regional newsrooms to provide deeper coverage of topics like government accountability, criminal justice, the environment, healthcare and rural economic development. The regional hubs will also leverage existing reporting resources by coordinating coverage of breaking news and elections across statewide news teams.

Can The US Wind Industry Beat The Coming Headwinds?

Forbes article contributed by Joshua Rhodes, Senior Energy Analyst,
Vibrant Clean Energy LLC in Boulder, Colorado

This is the second installment of a multi-part series.
Rhodes’ first article in the series: The Future Of US Solar Is Bright

The US wind industry currently supports over 110,000 jobs and, in 2018, about $11 billion was invested in new wind projects in the US. There are currently over 57,000 wind turbines in the US, totaling over 100,000 MW of total capacity. In 2018, wind provided about 6.5% of all US electricity generation, and year after year wind-heavy grids such as the Southwest Power Pool and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas break records for the amount of wind instantaneously meeting demand on the system. As of 2019, these records stand at almost 67% and 56%, respectfully.

The deployment of wind has been fast and furious and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that “wind turbine service technicians” will be in high demand over the next decade and will be the second-fastest growing job in the US — for those not afraid of heights. Read more here.

Northeast Community College
Northeast Community College in Norfolk is the only institution in Nebraska offering an Associate of Applied Science degree in wind energy. Learn more about Northeast’s wind technology degrees and programs and watch a brief video, Northeast Wind Energy Program, here.

Photo Credit: Northeast Community College


  • Why One Solar Power Project In South Dakota Will Rule Them All, CleanTechnica
    The developer, Germany-based Wircon GmbH, is planning on a $100 million payout for 500,000 solar panels and $15 million on an underground connector cable, all up and running by 2021 under the name of Lookout Solar Park. Look out, indeed. The new solar power plant represents a 180-degree turnaround for South Dakota. As recently as 2018, South Dakota ranked dead last for solar power among all 50 states and Puerto Rico.
  • Renewable energy production could exceed coal generation by next year, Buffalo Bulletin
    Led by solar and wind, renewable generation could produce as much as 21.6% of the nation’s electricity by 2021 — beating out coal at 20.8%, according to new projections published last month by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. “That’s not a surprise,” University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby said in response to the data agency’s latest forecasts. “While a lot of people still aren’t aware of it, renewables are really the cheapest and most promising form of new energy generation in most places.”
  • 8minute Solar Energy: ‘Every Project’ Could Have Built-In Storage, Greentech Media
    A year after a leadership shakeup, 8minute has more projects in more states — and a record for solar-and-storage pricing.
  • Omaha-based Tenaska in the news here: IMPA Grows Toward More Sustainable Energy, Inside Indiana Business. IMPA is a nonprofit organization whose members include municipally-owned electric utilities. They provide power to 61 communities in Indiana and Ohio.
  • WoodMac: Lifting US Import Tariffs Would Knock 30 Percent Off Solar System Prices, Greentech Media. Solar system prices dropped 90 percent over the last nine years, but the decline was tempered by American trade tariffs, leaving U.S. prices 45 percent above those in Europe and Australia, according to new research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables.


Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance Announces Top 10 U.S. Large Energy Buyers in 2019, News Release
The Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), has announced the release of its Deal Tracker highlighting 2019’s Top 10 Large Energy Buyers, topped by Facebook with the procurement of 1.546 gigawatts (GW). The REBA Deal Tracker showcases total announcements of 9.33 GW of renewable energy in the U.S. and a shift in the energy landscape driven by the demand for accessible clean energy options. “Well over half of all energy consumption comes from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector, so it is increasingly important that large energy buyers are identifying opportunities to reduce emissions,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO, REBA.


Indigenous tribes are at the forefront of climate change planning in the U.S., Grist
According to a database maintained by the University of Oregon, at least 50 tribes across the U.S. have assessed climate risks and developed plans to tackle them. With more than 570 federally recognized tribes controlling 50 million combined acres, these adaptation plans could prove a crucial element in building resilient communities that can thrive despite weather-related catastrophes and changes to the natural environment.

Tribal Climate Adaptation Guidebook


Harvard Faculty Vote in Favor of Divestment 179-20, The Harvard Crimson
The vote marks the culmination of a fourmonthlong debate in faculty meetings over the proper role of the University in combating climate change. Ultimately, 179 faculty members supported a motion in favor of divestment, while just 20 voted to oppose it. Faculty supporters who spoke at the meeting argued that Harvard should be at the forefront of an international divestment movement.

Harvard’s Climate Action Plan

Wind farm company to visit with NCORPE

By Todd Von Kampen, North Platte Telegraph

Board members of NCORPE, the water augmentation project in southwest Lincoln County, have invited the developer of four northeast Nebraska wind farms to make a public presentation Monday in Curtis. A representative of Invenergy will discuss the firm’s wind- and solar-energy projects during the Nebraska Cooperative Republican Platte Enhancement Project’s 10 a.m. board meeting at the Curtis Community Center. General Manager Kyle Shepherd said a public comment period will follow Invenergy’s presentation, which arises from his board’s ongoing interest in leasing part of NCORPE’s 19,500-acre pumping ground for renewable energy projects. Continue reading here.

Website: NCORPE.Org

Additional Recommended Reading
Northeast ‘one of the top’ schools for aspiring wind turbine technicians, Kearney Hub

Get to Know Your Unicameral: Sen. John McCollister

By Emily White, KVNO News

Before his time in the Unicameral, he was a member of the Metropolitan Utilities District board for nearly thirty years. He’s sponsored energy policy bills in the Legislature, including one in 2015 that he says “leveled the playing field” for renewable resources like wind and solar to compete with coal and natural gas. “Nebraska has had the fastest growing renewable energy situation in the entire country,” he says. “We are number three in wind resources, and we need to fully capture that source of energy to make our environment more clean and more healthy.”

The next step, McCollister says, is using net metering to incentivize individual energy contributions to the grid through solar panels and wind turbines. And moving outside of energy policy and looking  at the future of the state as a whole, he backed up what many have said is key to keeping jobs and industry within Nebraska: an expansion of trade education, training people for specialized jobs. Read more here and listen to the full interview on July 12, 2019.

Photo Credit: Nebraska Unicameral Information Office

Previously Posted

Northeast’s Applied Technology Career Day

Friday, October 4, 2019 | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Begin your day with check-in at 9:00 am in the Cox Activities Center on the Norfolk Campus. Optional walking campus tour at 2:00 pm. Lunch will be provided.

Experience the latest technologies, tools, and techniques used in today’s high-demand, high-paying career fields.

Register Here.

For more information or if you have questions, please call (402) 844-7262 or email visit@northeast.edu

Northeast Community College
801 East Benjamin Avenue
Norfolk, Nebraska 68701

Nebraska college capitalizes on need for wind energy workers

By Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star

After mastering terminology and nomenclature, as well as safety techniques, Northeast runs its wind energy students through more in-depth courses about motor controls and mechanical systems. Students can leave Northeast after a year to pursue an internship and a job with a wind energy company, [Instructor John Liewer] said, or they can complete the two-year program and receive their degree, an associate of applied science.

Statewide, demand for wind turbine technicians — a job designated as an “H3,” or high-skill, high-wage and high-demand — is expected to increase by 90% between 2016 and 2026. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Wind Turbine Technicians – Bureau of Labor Statistics

Northeast’s Applied Technology Career Day

Friday, October 4, 2019 | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
Begin your day with check-in at 9:00 am in the Cox Activities Center on the Norfolk Campus. Optional walking campus tour at 2:00 pm. Lunch will be provided.

Experience the latest technologies, tools, and techniques used in today’s high-demand, high-paying career fields.

Register Here.

For more information or if you have questions, please call (402) 844-7262 or email visit@northeast.edu

Northeast Community College
801 East Benjamin Avenue
Norfolk, Nebraska 68701

State’s largest solar project planned east of Lincoln

By Matt Olberding, Lincoln Journal Star

A solar power project being proposed east of Lincoln would be more than five times larger than all solar installations operating in the state combined. Ranger Power wants to build a 230-megawatt solar farm on more than 1,000 acres of land generally east of 134th Street between O Street and Havelock Avenue.

Colin Snow, the development manager for the local project, said the company “took an early interest” in the site east of Lincoln largely because of the fact that it is close to a Lincoln Electric System substation and is close to the “major load stations” of Lincoln and Omaha. Read more here.

Photo: OPPD’s 5-megawatt community-scale solar project under construction by NextEra Energy Resources. Credit: OPPD

Previously Posted Article By Matt Olberding
NextEra looking into potential solar farm in northeast Nebraska, Lincoln Journal Star
At a possible 423 megawatts, it would be the largest solar project not only in Nebraska but also in the Midwest.

NextEra Also In The News Here