Thursday, January 11, 2018

Let it Snow: How Solar Panels Can Thrive in Winter Weather

At the Regional Test Center in Williston, Vermont, researchers are examining how framed (in the background) and frameless (in the foreground) solar photovoltaic modules handle snowy conditions. | Photo Courtesy: Sandia National Laboratories
At the Regional Test Center in Williston, Vermont, researchers are examining how framed (in the background) and frameless (in the foreground) solar photovoltaic modules handle snowy conditions. | Photo Courtesy: Sandia National Laboratories

If you live outside of the sunny Southwest, the weather can bring sudden changes this time of year. Many parts of the country have already seen snow, and the polar vortex has extended far enough south that even our nation’s capital has experienced a few deep chills. Although at first blush it may seem that solar power is ideal for the summer, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels actually produce useful power throughout all four seasons. Tackling weather-related challenges is one reason why the SunShot Initiative funds Regional Test Centers, where solar panel performance can be time-tested in widely varying climates. Researchers at the test centers have shown that solar can still successfully generate electricity in snowy areas and other harsh environments.

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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Inside Renewable Energy Podcast - The Hows and Whys of Smart Inverters

Renewable Energy World has rebooted their monthly podcast, featuring a new December 28, 2017 episode on Smart Inverters. Listen to Bruce Bailey and Ken Boyce of UL on what the market for advanced inverters looks like today, why they can support the growth of a clean and resilient grid, and what their evolution will look like over time.

Check out this and other new episodes on, and subscribe to the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

For clean-energy jobs, sky's the limit

Farm fields stretched out 24 stories below Will Osborn, the landscape dotted with silos and farmhouses.

Of course, he didn’t have much time to gaze. Planted atop a wind turbine — one of a few dozen at his work site in Sauk Centre, Minnesota — Osborn was diagnosing a weather sensor.

Osborn’s job, wind technician, is the fastest-growing occupation in the nation. As utilities rapidly increase the amount of power they get from wind farms, workers willing and able to climb hundreds of feet to keep turbines running smoothly are in high demand. Students in wind power training programs are getting jobs as soon as they graduate or even before.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Time to shine: Solar power is fastest-growing source of new energy

Renewables accounted for two-thirds of new power added to world’s grids last year, says International Energy Agency

A rooftop covered with solar panels at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. Photograph: Mark Lennihan/AP

Solar power was the fastest-growing source of new energy worldwide last year, outstripping the growth in all other forms of power generation for the first time and leading experts to hail a “new era”.
Renewable energy accounted for two-thirds of new power added to the world’s grids in 2016, the International Energy Agency said, but the group found solar was the technology that shone brightest.
New solar capacity even overtook the net growth in coal, previously the biggest new source of power generation. The shift was driven by falling prices and government policies, particularly in China, which accounted for almost half the solar panels installed.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

CREATE Webinar on The Solar Foundation Career Platform Friday, December 1, 2017 at 3:30PM EST

Join us for a free webinar with the Solar Training Network, a workforce development program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative. We’ll discuss the benefits the program can provide to solar training providers and students, interesting research on solar training and hiring, as well a new initiative to collect training metrics that you can help with.

The Solar Training Network helps facilitate connections among solar training providers, employers, jobseekers, and workforce development boards. The solar career platform at is a free web platform for training providers and employers to advertise their organization, and mainly serves to help students and jobseekers find training and employment opportunities.

To register for the webinar, email Gabrielle Temple at:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Renewable Energy is Creating US Jobs Twice as Fast as Any Other Industry

Even as some people would like to see a rebirth of the coal industry in the US, it’s renewable energy that keeps generating good news.

Over the next decade, jobs for solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians will grow twice as fast as any other occupation, according to a Bloomberg analysis of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’s biennial employment projections released yesterday.

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Job: Professor of Energy Management and Controls Technology

Valencia College, winner of the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, has a Full Time, Tenure-Track Faculty Member position open for a Professor of Energy Management and Controls Technology. This faculty member will be responsible for teaching courses within our Energy Management and Controls Technology Associate in Science Degree Program, a two-year program that prepares students to go directly into the building automation systems direct digital controls industry. As Professor of Energy Management and Controls Technology, you will also be expected to uphold Valencia College’s vision of being a premier learning college that transforms lives, strengthens community, and inspires individuals to excellence.

Interested candidates please submit an online application on our career site at:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Names Behind The Numbers

Meet four workers in Wisconsin's clean energy industry, profiled for a new project called Names Behind the Numbers, telling Wisconsin's clean energy worker stories.

Tim Ott (shown on the left) works for DVO, Inc. — an anaerobic digester company located just six miles from his hometown of Hilbert, Wisconsin. He started working for DVO right after he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in natural resource management. 

Tim is one of thousands of people across Wisconsin who work in jobs driven by the state’s clean energy and energy efficiency sectors. His profile is the latest in a series being developed by Medium. The project is called Names Behind the Numbers and it seeks to help everyone get to know some of their fellow Wisconsinites for whom these emerging and growing sectors in our state are really important. Some other features include Erik Davidsen (Master Electrician at Staff Electric)Tim Martinez (Solar Construction Manager at EcoPower), and Casey Joyce (Project Manager at SunPeak).  In the posts to come over the course of this project, they'll feature people working in a truly wide range of jobs and companies — from manufacturing to installation to construction to operations and more. Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

KidWind Challenge Webinar -Thursday, November 9th

Hello Educators! Are you Interested in participating at a KidWind Challenge? Is it your first time? Scared?!  Don't be! Register for our webinar to learn the basics and see how easy it is to participate. One lucky participant will win a KidWind Advanced Wind Experiment Kit.

Join us Thursday, November 9th at 2:30 CT.  It will also be recorded if you are busy!

To register:

Monday, October 30, 2017

Webinar: REopt Lite: Sizing Solar+Storage for Savings and Resiliency with NREL's New Tool

Wednesday, November 1, 2-3 pm ET
In this webinar, presenters from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) will introduce the beta version of the lab’s new solar+storage web tool, REopt Lite. This free tool is designed to help building owners and planners quickly and easily evaluate the economics of solar PV and battery storage for their sites.