Learn how utilities can support renewable projects in schools

Free webinar series helps utilities save money and better serve their customers

Join the Clean Energy Ambassadors (CEA) Tuesday, Sept. 20, at noon Central Time for the next free event in the Lunchtime Webinar Series, Utility Support for Renewables in the Schools External link information.
An executive at GE stated a few years ago, that “wind is not a science project anymore,” meaning, of course, that wind technology had become a reliable, mainstream resource for utilities. The same is true of photovoltaic systems. By the time today’s fourth-graders graduate high school, wind and solar power could well make up 20 percent or more of most utility resource portfolios. So what can utilities do to introduce school kids to the resources that will be a part of their not-too-distant energy future?

This webinar explores how community-owned utilities nationwide are helping to bring working renewable energy demonstration projects and curricula to local schools and how you can join them—whether your utility prefers to own the generation or to facilitate school- or third-party ownership.

Speakers will share current success stories of consumer-owned utilities that encourage renewable energy in the schools, including a school-based wind projects in Iowa and South Dakota and school-based solar projects at co-ops and public power utilities nationwide. Larry Flowers, who helped initiate the Wind Energy for Schools program for US DOE and is now promoting school programs through the American Wind Energy Association External link information will talk about his experience working with electric co-ops and public power. Jill Cliburn, a regular contributor to the Clean Energy Ambassadors’ blog, brings her field experience to a discussion of School Solar Best Practices, including using voluntary subscriptions, low-cost financing and power purchase agreements to help support school solar projects.
CEA Webinars are held from 12-1 pm Central time (11 a.m. – noon Mountain Time) on the third Tuesday of each month. Because they are focused on the needs of consumer-owned utilities primarily in the Midwest and Plains states, the discussion can be specific, candid and informal. Register today for this free webinar to secure your place.

Competition promotes STEM learning in schools

Public power providers often team up with local schools to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) talent in their communities. Now, a competition is offering utilities and schools the opportunity to share their experiences—and win prizes and recognition for their innovative programs.

Ashoka’s Changemakers is partnering with Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Opportunity Equation to unleash the talent of professionals in STEM-related fields to engage students, particularly our highest-need students, in rich STEM learning. Partnering for Excellence: Innovations in Science + Technology + Engineering + Math Education, an online collaborative competition, will spur creative ways for companies, universities and other organizations with expertise in the STEM fields to partner with the public schools that need their talent. Sponsors include the Jhumki Basu Foundation, Alcoa Foundation, Amgen Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, Google, The Mind Trust, AFT Innovation Fund and Noyce Foundation.

The competition is looking for program models that find new ways to bring STEM resources from the private and not-for-profit sectors into the classroom, promote mentorship and introduce students to opportunities in STEM industries. Winners are eligible for more than $150,000 in cash and in-kind prizes that could be used to expand an existing program or kick-start an initiative that has been sitting on the “drawing board.”  Submit your innovative solutions by 5PM EDT on August 3, 2011.

And don’t forget to tell Energy Services about your program while you are at it. We don’t offer prizes, but we would love to feature your program in the Energy Services Bulletin.

Free webinar focuses on energy savings and outreach at schools

The Clean Energy Ambassadors (CEA) Lunchtime Webinar Series continues with Schools: A Top Choice for Energy Savings and Outreach, Tuesday, April 19, at noon Central Time.

This webinar will provide utilities with ideas for reaching out to their local schools and establishing substantive energy-efficiency programs that go beyond promotion.  “The agenda features speakers from some of the great organizations that are working to make schools more energy efficient around the country,” said Jill Cliburn, a public-power utility veteran who leads the Clean Energy Ambassadors program. “Attendees will learn about programs the Green Schools Alliance and Alliance to Save Energy Schools Network used to successfully connect utility companies to local schools.”

Case studies will offer examples of schools and utilities working together to create programs and working relationships that reach their students and communities. Some of the most effective programs have taught students how to perform basic energy audits using simple tools, such as guages for measuring insulation, watt meters, light meters and more. These programs also encourage students to learn more about energy generation and use, and to consider careers in the energy industry. Some of the programs are utility sponsored, while others are student led.

CEA webinars are held from noon to 1 p.m., Central time (11 a.m. – noon Mountain) on the third Tuesday of each month. Because they are focused on needs of consumer-owned utilities primarily in the Midwest and Plains states, the discussion are specific, candid and informal. Clean Energy Ambassadors offers these webinars free of charge, but you must register to participate.