Tag Archives: Northeast Community College

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.

IN NEBRASKA

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

AMERICAN WIND WEEK 2020

#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.

JOURNALISM NETWORK

$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

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • 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.

REBA NEWS

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.

TRIBAL CLIMATE ACTION PLANS 

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

DIVESTMENT NEWS

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
Website

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
Website

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

Checking in on the Nebraska wind boom

By Curtis Walter, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog

Nebraska is in the midst of a wind energy boom–it’s one of seven states on track to double
its installed wind capacity in the coming years. Like many rural communities across the U.S., this has brought wide-ranging benefits to the state.

“Wind energy, the fastest-growing source of electricity in the U.S., is transforming low-income rural areas in ways not seen since the federal government gave land to homesteaders 150 years ago,” the Omaha World-Herald reported. “As commodity prices threaten to reach decade lows and farmers struggle to meet debt payments, wind has saved family farms across a wide swath of the heartland. Read more here.

Details shared on Sholes wind farm proposal

By Jerry Guenther, Norfolk Daily News

Philip Clement, project director for renewable development at NextEra, said his company will look toward Wayne State and Northeast Community College for employees to be trained in the industry. “That’s the goal, hopefully to develop the skill set in the local areas so we can hire these people to work at the wind farm and keep the people in Wayne,” Clement said. He said the economic benefits include that almost $600,000 in property tax revenues will be generated annually to Wayne County, making it the largest taxpaying entity in the county. The project is estimated to be in operation for about 30 years.

Click here to read the entire article and some of the answers provided during the meeting’s Q&A.

Photo: Dr. Chuck Parker, a Wayne State College professor of economic development, serves as moderator and explains the ground rules for a public meeting Wednesday evening at the Wayne Fire Hall. Before the meeting ended, nearly all 150 chairs were filled along with some people standing. Credit: Norfolk Daily News / Jerry Guenther

RELATED 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

Program Helps Satisfy Nebraska’s Growing Wind Energy Workforce Demand

By Ben Bohall, Producer/Reporter, NET News 

In 1998, there were only four wind turbines in the entire state. Now, there are more than 700. But as Nebraska’s wind farms continue to expand, finding trained people to work them has been a challenge. A unique education program is trying to change that . . . According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for wind turbine service technicians is expected to more than double by the year 2024. Last year, turbine service techs took home $53,000 a year, on average. Construction is underway on 81 wind farm projects in 25 states, several of which are in Nebraska. The biggest is the Grande Prairie, near O’Neill, which is expected to have 200 new turbines. Read more.

Photo: Students of Northeast Community College’s wind energy technician program train on the campus’ fully functioning 100-kilowatt turbine. Courtesy photo.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
NBC Nebraska: Wind turbine on campus will power, educate college
Central Community College-Hastings will have a wind turbine in operation by the end of December. “We consume a lot of energy on the campus, electrical energy,” said [CCC President Bill Hitesman]. “That will produce enough energy to run the campus at its peak performance.”
The college will be expanding course offerings for students in the renewable fuels field.