Western Nebraska renewable energy conference is Feb. 21 at Scottsbluff | TSLN.com

Western Nebraska renewable energy conference is Feb. 21 at Scottsbluff

A day-long conference Feb. 21 at Scottsbluff, NE, will provide a practical look at implementing small-scale renewable energy technologies.

The Renewable Energy Conference for Western Nebraska will provide information about what technologies are available and how they can be applied. It is intended for farmers, ranchers, small-business owners, economic developers, lenders, equipment vendors, grant writers and county officials.

Speakers will share real-life experiences of individuals and business that have gone through the process and are now reaping the benefits of renewable energy technologies. They will discuss the steps of their project development, including resource assessment, permitting/certification process and financial considerations.

The workshop will be at the University of Nebraska Panhandle Research and Extension Center, 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff. Co-sponsors include: Nebraska Public Power District; U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development; UNL Extension; and Panhandle Rural Electric Membership Association.

Pre-registration is due Feb. 15 for an accurate meal count. The $20 registration fee pays for materials, box lunch and snacks. Return registration form and fee to: Panhandle Research & Extension Center, 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff, NE 69361.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling the Extension office at 308-632-1480, or e-mailing Shelly Latham at the USDA Rural Development office at Scottsbluff, shelly.latham@ne.usda.gov.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., and the program at 9 a.m. The conference will last until 5 p.m. Sessions include:

• Energy Efficiency: Nebraska Public Power District’s (NPPD) Energy Efficiency team will elaborate on immediate actions to explore that will save energy.

• Biomass: Dale Grant, Chadron State College (CSC), will discuss the wood-burning system utilized by CSC. Development of an on-farm biodiesel production facility will be discussed by Greg Nielsen of Gordon.

• Methane: The challenges and benefits of anaerobic digestion. Speaker confirmation pending.

• Geothermal: Bryce Landen of NPPD has utilized geothermal for his personal home and will share his experience. Commercial application by local business owners will also be discussed.

• Small Wind: Mike VanBuskirk of Y7 LLC of Hay Springs, NE, will discuss the installation and performance to date of wind turbines offsetting energy to power center pivots.

• Solar: A local rancher will discuss the installation of solar panels to operate livestock wells. Commercial applications will also be discussed.

– UNL Panhandle Research and Extension Center

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