From the editor…

In this issue (2.24.10)

Big news from Austin:  SNOW–that all-to-familiar white stuff, the scourge of my friends who live in colder climates, and who, about this time of year, suffer from white stuff fatigue (and I just planted the lettuce).  I’ll happily endure their rolling of the eyes while I proudly suggest that they can no longer accuse us of being winter lightweights.

While we’re on the subject of big news, IREC has just released the 2010 update to its popular Best Practices and Recommended Guidelines for Renewable Energy Training. The new edition covers recommended principles for training; reviews industry-approved job/task analyses; discusses types of educational programs; walks through the essential steps of designing a training course; offers a checklist for assessing learning outcomes; looks at certification and accreditation; and lists resources to assist in training.  A huge thanks goes to Jerry Ventre for his work on this version and his expertise as an educator, and one of the most brilliant subject matter experts out there.

Just last week, IREC’s Jane Weissman was in Phoenix at AEE Solar’s conference where she received their Solar Pioneer Award for her tireless work in the solar industry.  We couldn’t agree more.

The Who Dat Nation continues its steady pace of solar achievements as a Solar America City with more solar training—including solar thermal offerings–and innovative financing mechanisms, including a PACE option.

And speaking of plantings…

I was out of town last summer when the city dedicated an unusual garden of sunflowers—solar sunflowers, that is.  Providing an unexpected delight from the daunting traffic along IH35, the sunflowers bloom at Mueller, the former airport, now mixed-use urban development.  During the day, the panels just stand there, collecting energy, but the real light show happens when the sun goes down and the blue LED lights come on.  It’s luminous, an exquisite example of art in public places, and something you should put on your ‘to do’ list if you’re coming to Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo/North America this week.  I was intrigued with Austin Energy’s GM, Roger Duncan’s remarks about energy sentient buildings–where buildings generate, store, and dispatch all onsite energy potential,  and communicate with the grid and electric sector.  Buildings becoming conscious?  I’ll be there, with live posts via Twitter (twitter.com/irecusa).

To all my friends in the northeast, cheer up–Spring isn’t far behind.

 

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