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Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education
NSF ATE Award # 1600934

Spring 2017

Greetings and welcome to the first edition of the Newsletter for the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education!  The new CREATE center has been funded by the National Science Foundation to provide support to renewable energy and energy efficiency education programs and faculty nationwide. 
Many of you are already familiar with our CREATE team through our previous work with the California Regional ATE Center based out of College of the Canyons, the Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute at Lane Community College, and the Consortium for Education in Renewable Energy Technology based out of Madison Area Technical College.  Our three organizations and institutions have been collaborating for several years, and we are all very excited at the opportunity to partner together in implementing the new CREATE Center.
As many of you know, longtime CREATE leader Kathy Alfano retired from College of the Canyons in October, 2016.  Kathy has been a champion for the National Science Foundation community, an advocate for energy education, and mentor to numerous STEM teachers and professionals (myself included).  The good news is, that despite her retirement from Canyons, Kathy remains an indispensible part of the CREATE leadership team.  Kathy will play a key role as a Co-PI with CREATE helping to provide continuity as we establish the function of the new support center.  On behalf of all of us whose careers Kathy touched, let me say “Congratulations on your retirement!“!  We thank you for the many years of work on our behalf, and hope that the transition affords you some newfound free time to spend with your family and other fun adventures and pursuits!
This is a very exciting time for renewable energy!  In 2016, more renewable energy generating capacity was added to the U.S. electrical grid than from any other energy source.  The U.S. wind energy industry now employs more people than coal, and the solar industry employs more than oil and natural gas combined.  On a more global scale, the prices for both wind and solar have continued to become ever more competitive.  2016 saw wind and solar power purchase agreements supplying electricity for record low prices. These renewable energy sources along with geothermal and hydropower are now more affordable than power from fossil fuels.  Although it is challenging to predict what the future might hold, it seems likely that renewable energy will continue to reach grid parity in many parts of the world over the next few years.
So, what can you expect from the new CREATE center?  The Center’s goal is to advance the field of renewable energy by supporting two-year college renewable energy programs, while serving as a source of faculty support, business and industry networking, professional development, and educational materials.
We anticipate that this newsletter will be published twice a year to coincide with the traditional spring and fall semester schedule common to many schools.  We will be posting educational and career development resources on our website in the upcoming months, and expect to launch a webinar series later this spring.  Most important, we have a series of summer professional development workshops for faculty to gain hands-on experience with energy technology while developing new instructional materials and educational activities to implement in the classroom.
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to check out CREATE’s new website at  On the website you will find additional details and application information for our summer 2017 faculty professional development workshops.   While visiting the website, you will also want to sign up for the CREATE email list so that we can provide you with notifications of upcoming events and new developments.
On behalf of the entire CREATE Team, I wish you a Happy New Year!  We are looking forward to working with you to help advance energy education in 2017 and beyond!
Ken Walz, CREATE Director and Principal Investigator

Your Input Matters

In the fall of 2016, CREATE surveyed instructors teaching renewable energy at high schools and community colleges across the United States.  The results are being used by CREATE to determine our priorities, and direct our efforts to meet faculty needs and interests.
The survey was sent to over 400 instructors nationwide, and had a 20% response rate.  The respondents represented a mix of STEM disciplines, including diverse fields such as basic sciences, agriculture, mechanics, construction trades, and engineering technology.  As shown in the table below their schools offered a wide cross section of renewable energy coursework.
Solar Photovoltaics, Energy Storage, and Energy Management were the top ranked renewable energy content areas.  Solar Thermal, Wind, and Special Topics were also of interest but somewhat lesser priority.  To respond, CREATE will direct our efforts over the next year on the highest priority areas. With help from our National Visiting Committee, CREATE will also remain attentive to renewable energy trends, and adjust our efforts accordingly to respond to future developments.
The type of professional development that most interested faculty were summer teacher workshops.  Accordingly, CREATE will be assigning priority to these types of opportunities.  Two of our workshops planned for summer 2017 are featured in this newsletter, and applications can be found on the CreateEnergy.Org website.  Faculty also expressed interest in electronic communications and materials that could be accessed online.  This newsletter marks the first step in addressing this interest, and CREATE will launch a Webinar series and collection of online resources yet this spring.
Lastly we asked faculty to rank the priority of instructional materials that CREATE might provide.  Very strong priority was assigned to materials that could be broadly classified as Active Learning strategies, such as hands-on activities, lab manuals/experiments, and problem/project based learning.  Driven by the survey data, CREATE is placing new emphasis for our summer workshops on developing and disseminating Active Learning instructional resources.  
We would like to thank all of you who took the time to respond to the CREATE Faculty Survey.  Your input has been invaluable as we chart the course of the CREATE Center.  We look forward to responding to your needs and interests in the years ahead.  It is foreseeable that CREATE may require additional survey and evaluation data in the upcoming years, and we hope that you will provide us with your insights and let us know if we are on target.  We welcome any additional feedback that you have, and please do not hesitate to contact us with your suggestions. 

DOE Releases the 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report

In January, the Department of Energy released the latest update to the U.S. Energy and Employment report, including 50 appendices with data for each of the individual states.  The Department’s second annual analysis shows how changes in America’s energy profile are affecting national employment in important sectors of the U.S. economy.  Some key findings of the 2017 report:
· Energy and energy efficiency represented 14% of the nation’s job growth in 2016
· Energy efficiency added 133,000 new jobs 
· The Solar industry added 73,000 new jobs 
· Alternative fuel vehicles added 69,000 new jobs 
· The Wind industry  added 25,000 new jobs.
Check out these links for more information:
· U.S. Energy Jobs 
full report and state charts
- Press Release accompanying the report
· Recording of Nov 2016
webinar discussing the methodology and goals of the report
· Recording of the Jan 2017
webinar discussing the key findings of the report:
· Questions about the report?
  Please email: 

Renewable Energy Markets in the US and Abroad: A look at the year that was      By Wilson Rickerson

The global renewable energy (RE) industry kept up its rapid pace in 2016. Although the final numbers are not in for the year, it has been projected that more than 60 gigawatts (GW) of new wind energy and 60 GW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity came online last year driven by low renewable energy costs and supportive polices. The sustained momentum of global RE markets has created substantial economic opportunities, with over $230 billion invested in renewable power and fuels every year since 2010, and more than 8.1 million jobs created (not counting large hydropower jobs).
China continued to be the largest market for new renewable energy in the world. The US, however, also saw its renewable energy markets continue to surge. It is projected that the US installed over
14 GW of PV in 2016 – an 88% increase over 2015, which was already a record-breaking year for US PV installations. It is projected that there are now close to 40 GW of PV installed in the US in total. By comparison, less than half a GW of PV had been installed in the US by the end of 2006.
The Solar Energy Industries Association calculated that the rate of PV installations last year equated to one megawatt
every 30 minutes and one installation every 84 seconds. This rapid deployment has been driven in part by steep cost declines. PV installed costs have dropped by 60% over the last 10 years and utility scale PV projects are now selling power under contract at 3.5 to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour. GTM Research forecasts that annual PV installations will remain over 10 GW through 2021. By that time, 30 states will have annual PV markets larger than 100 MW and 20 states will have more than 1 GW of PV in operation.
Wind energy also continued to grow in 2016. By the end of the 3rd quarter of 2016,
1,725 MW of new wind had been added for a total of 75,716 MW installed nationally. In addition, there were close to 20 GW in progress – 13.5 GW under construction and 6.7 GW in advanced development.
The market for storage, although smaller than wind and PV, is also growing swiftly. Whereas 226 MW were installed in 2015, it is expected that
close to 300 MW of storage will be added in 2016. Although the majority of this capacity is utility-scale, it is projected that behind-the-meter residential and commercial projects will rapidly scale-up. In 2021, it is projected that 2.1 GW of storage will be installed over the course of the year – half of which will be smaller scale projects.
The rapid deployment of new energy technologies has helped power significant job growth within the energy sector, according to the recently released
US Energy and Employment report from the US Department of Energy. The solar energy workforce expanded 25% in 2016 to 260,000 people, whereas the wind workforce grew by 32% in 2016 to 102,000. Employers project an additional 7% growth over the next twelve months, with the “majority of these new jobs…comprised of employees installing and building new…capacity additions.”
This article will be updated when national and global renewable energy numbers for 2016 are finalized later this year.
Wilson Rickerson in a member of the CREATE National Visiting Committee and the Principal of Rickerson Strategies LLC. He focuses on energy and resilience opportunities and has worked with governments in 25 countries. 

What can the Solar Training Network do for you? 
By Joe Sarubbi
As a former college professor and department chair for multiple technologies, I learned that one of faculty’s biggest challenge is connecting students with potential employers. In mature industries like electrical, HVAC, and construction technology, faculty often find developed pipelines for students pursuing employment in those fields. But in a nascent industry like solar, connecting students with jobs has been an ongoing challenge for faculty of solar programs.

Welcome to the Solar Training Network (STN), a program of the 
U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative designed to help meet the solar industry workforce needs through solar training and strategic employment partnerships. The Solar Foundation serves as its National Administrator. This program is the successor to the Solar Instructor Training Network (SITN) spearheaded by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

Under the STN initiative, The Solar Foundation is developing and strengthening connections between solar trainers, job seekers, solar employers, workforce development boards and other key industry stakeholders. Members of the STN will have access to many opportunities, like participating in solar job fairs and trainer summits, access to national solar training resources and research on industry needs and training costs, inclusion in the Solar Training Network training provider directory, Solar Training Network videos and webinars, and much more. No doubt, these benefits will go a long way to support solar faculty.

To me, the greatest benefit is the STN website.  This member-only portal connects job seekers with potential employers. Students will upload their resume and connect directly with employers in a geographic location of their choice. Faculty and students can know which employers are hiring close to their academic institution. The Solar Foundation is building an impressive repository of solar employers, giving students many options for employment upon graduation.

I encourage you to check out the website and seriously consider becoming an STN member. There is a Training Provider Application on the STN website, as well as additional information about membership.

Joe Sarubbi is a member of the CREATE National Visiting Committee.  He is a technical education and training consultant to The Solar Foundation and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, and President and CEO of Trilogy Workforce Solutions LLC.

The CREATE Update

SPRING Schedule

CREATE Summer Energy Educator Series (SEES)
For a Renewable Energy Program to be most successful, energy efficiency is an essential component. Far too many programs don’t give energy efficiency enough consideration in overall program development. Why do we need to teach our students about energy efficiency? Because, if energy efficiency is not addressed upfront in the design of a renewable energy project, much larger energy systems will be needed to make up for the energy lost through inefficient processes and ineffective building operation.
The CREATE SEES one-week workshop provides participants with commercial building energy efficiency training to assist with the development of courses and programs. The SEES workshop will be taught by faculty and staff from Lane Community College. Lane is home to the longest running Energy Management Program in the US and has helped many colleges start energy related programs.
The SEES workshop will include:
  • Residential and commercial energy efficiency course content. Including curriculum, activities, and experience with course development.
  • Using your campus as a teaching tool (Living Lab).
  • Tools required for a successful energy auditing course.
  • The opportunity to network with other energy educators interested in developing similar courses.
For more information about the SEES workshop and to submit your application please visit the CREATE webpage at

SEES Energy Workshop
June 26-20, 2017
Lane Community College, Eugene, OR

CREATE Solar PV Institutes

The Solar PV Institute is a three-day, intensive professional development workshop for high school teachers interested in teaching students about solar photovoltaic technology. The institute emphasizes hands-on experience working with solar equipment and tools.

Participants will engage in lab activities that science and technical education teachers can use to integrate solar technology into their existing courses. The Institute is led by a team of community college and high school instructors with expertise in both solar photovoltaic technology and STEM curriculum design.
The workshop includes:
  • Constructing a full, working PV system
  • Using a solar pathfinder to assess sites for locating a solar system
  • Measuring the output of a solar module to produce an IV curve
  • Using the online tool PV Watts to estimate annual energy production
  • Making a lesson plan to incorporate workshop material into a STEM class
  • $300 stipend
  • Travel lodging and meals provided
  • One graduate credit is available
For more information about the Solar PV Institutes and to submit your application, please visit the CREATE webpage at 

Wisconsin Solar PV Institute
July 25-27, 2017, Madison Area Technical College, Madison, WI

Washington Solar PV Institute
August 8-10, Shoreline Community College, Shoreline, WA


National Renewable Energy Laboratory Energy Institute for Teachers

Join the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in an exciting opportunity for middle and high school teachers! The Energy Institute integrates renewable energy and energy efficiency topics into existing STEM courses ranging from chemistry, physics, and engineering to biology, environmental science, and agriculture.

During the week long workshop, teachers will participate in a variety of activities tied to NREL research including: building and testing wind turbine blades, measuring solar panel current and voltage, comparing the efficiency of various types of lighting, and chemically producing biodiesel fuel. Participants will also meet with staff scientists and tour the world class National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The Institute will be held July 10-14 at the NREL Education Center in Golden, CO.  Travel funding, stipends, and graduate credit is available.  For additional information see:  The online application is at: Applications are due Friday, March 3, 2017.

STEM Teacher Summer Programs at the University of Wisconsin Madison Great Lakes BioEnergy Research Center (GLBRC)  

Research Experience for Teachers in Bioenergy, June 26 – August 11
:  GLBRC is seeking three teachers to work on bioenergy research and classroom activity development. Research areas span microbiology, soil science and biodiversity studies.  Participants receive a $7000 stipend. Accepting applications through March 18. Learn more:

Bioenergy Institute for Educators, June 26-30: Join GLBRC for an intensive 5-day program to learn about the latest developments in bioenergy research and high-quality, NGSS-aligned materials to use with students. Includes $400 stipend, credit option. Accepting applications through May 1. Learn more:

Energy Institute for Educators, July 19-21: Engage in the breadth of research and education resources at the Wisconsin Energy Institute related to the theme of Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change. Highlights include lab tours, discussions, hands-on experience with classroom materials, and support in implementing NGSS-aligned lessons with your students.  Includes $300 stipend, credit option. Applications accepted through May 15th. Learn more:  

2017 CREATE Webinars
This spring, CREATE will be launching a webinar series. Planned topics for this year include Solar Photovoltaics, Energy Storage, Renewable Energy Employment, and the German Energy Transition. Please visit the CREATE website and sign up for our email list to get updates as speakers and dates are announced.
Contact us at:
 Kenneth A. Walz, Ph.D.
 CREATE Principal Investigator
 Madison Area Technical College
 1701 Wright Street
 Madison, WI  53704-2599
 Office: (608) 246-6521

Gabrielle Temple
CREATE Project Manager
College of the Canyons
26455 Rockwell Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91355
(661) 362-3024

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 16009344. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
Copyright © 2017 College of the Canyons, All rights reserved.

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