Don Preister, Green Bellevue President and Bellevue City Councilman, Ward 5, started Green Bellevue in 2009. Through the organization, approximately 600 volunteers work on a host of different activities including Earth Day and Arbor Day programs, recycling efforts, wildlife habitat cleanup, Green Schools and Clean Energy programs. Preister said they also focus on water quality and sustainable gardening. Continue reading here to learn about Green Bellevue’s renewable energy programs and projects.
Today’s Technology, Tomorrow’s Leaders: Lighting the Way at Creighton By Cheril Lee, The Reader
In 2010, Creighton University contracted out to have four individual solar arrays installed around campus. Dr. Andrew Baruth, assistant professor of physics at Creighton University, explained the arrays came about thanks to the direct efforts of Dr. Michael Cherney, now an emeritus professor at Creighton. “In conversation, he learned of money that was available through the U.S. Department of Energy as part of a stimulus package that could potentially go to fund something like this,” said Baruth. Read more here.
When Eric Williams, [immediate past president] of Nebraskans for Solar, was looking for a home to buy in 2011, he said one of the primary considerations was the orientation of the home and the slope of the roof. “I was projecting forward and expecting I would want to install solar and generate electricity in my own home,” explained Williams. “So the first step was seeing if the home I was looking at was a good candidate for the future.” In 2012-2013, Williams said he had some casual discussions about solar, talked to some contractors and attended some meetings. “By 2014, I decided I wanted to move forward . . . ” Continue reading.
ALSO WRITTEN BY CHERIL LEE
The Nebraska Legislature’s Environmental Focus, The Reader
The legislature has a lot they’re trying to accomplish in the next few months. Among the mix of other bills they are working on, Senator Carol Blood and Senator Tony Vargas both have pieces of legislation that are meant to encourage energy efficiency. Senator Blood’s bill LB 87 would, “Redefine a qualified facility and authorize local distribution utilities to waive certain requirements relating to net metering,” according to the Nebraska Legislature’s website.
Blood said this bill would help update an old net metering law, allowing for larger solar installations. Read more.
“There is a large and united coalition growing in Nebraska. It started with the pipeline and it is moving into clean energy,” said Graham Christensen, Director of the Nebraska Farmers Union, and member of a new coalition called Clean Energy Nebraska. “There are a lot of people working hand in hand. There is no going backward,” he said. The Farmer’s Union, the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, The Nebraska Sierra Club and The Center for Rural Affairs are members. Each organization appeals to a different audience. Continue reading.
Clean Energy Nebraska’s Website: www.cleanenergynebraska.org
Photo: Graham Christensen, District Director of the Nebraska Farmers Union, Owner of GC Resolve LLC
By Cheril Lee, The Reader Thinking about installing solar panels on your home? There are some key questions you need to ask yourself first including: What is the current cost of your electric bill? How much electricity are you using on a daily basis? How much solar energy do you need to generate to offset that usage?
The number and placement of solar panels on your home will depend on the size of your house, the kind of surface area you have to work with as well as things like how many trees you have in your neighborhood.
About the above photo: Habitat for Humanity of Omaha and Nebraskans for Solar raised funds to install a solar hot water system on this Habitat for Humanity home and three others. The systems, which typically have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, save the homeowners about $1,000 a year. Photo Credit: Blake Johnson, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha
Nebraskans for Solar President, Eric Williams, one of the homeowners featured in Cheril Lee’s article, offers tours of his 3-kilowatt residential solar project, which generates clean, renewable energy for his energy-efficient house (90% of usage in the first year) and his electric car. His home is located in Omaha’s beautiful, historic Dundee neighborhood.