Path Home Shows 2012 Show Archive March 2012 Show 1210 Solar Industry - High Plains Technolocy Center

Solar Industry - High Plains Technolocy Center

In a world where energy consumption will only go up…solar energy has tremendous potential; yet, still meets only the tiniest fraction of man’s need for power.
Solar Industry - High Plains Technolocy Center

U.S. Department of Energy

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High Plains Tech Center

Show Dates

Show 1210: Solar Industry - High Plains Technolocy Center

Air date: March 4, 2012

 

Transcript

Rob McClendon:  Well growth in solar energy translates into a growing need for solar workers.  We continue our renewable energy look in the heart of Oklahoma’s oil country where they’re training for a whole new type of energy job.  Here’s our Courtenay DeHoff.

Courtenay DeHoff:  In our quest for renewable energy, an Oklahoma technology center is harnessing the power of the sun, and powering the possibilities.

With a little help from up above, and a little help from the experts, people are gathering at High Plains Technology Center in Woodward, Oklahoma, to learn about solar energy.

Taylor Burnett:  I believe right now what it’ll be in businesses and homes more so than having a solar farm like other states have, it’ll just produce one megawatt.  Like you heard earlier, it does take six acres to have one megawatt of energy.

Courtenay:  Taylor Burnett, the Director of Business and Industry.

Taylor:  I really truly believe that we need to find other alternative forms of energy; especially in the state of Oklahoma.  You know, wind is still fairly new, we’ve always had oil and gas; we just need to, to reduce our carbon footprint, we need to find other sources and we really truly believe that solar can be that third piece to the puzzle that we can bring.

Courtenay:  Solar is a relatively small piece in the puzzle currently and High Plains is hoping to change that.

Taylor:  Right now, I believe it does not have a huge impact, but that’s why we are excited about being at High Plains Technology Center, we can be the voice of solar in the state of Oklahoma.  Through the Department of Commerce we got the, our funds that incorporated us to be able to be that voice, and that’s what I wanted to bring more so than anything.  I’m bringing the people that can teach it and we’re getting the training to be able to incorporate that, but we want to be the voice to get out that word in the state of Oklahoma.  Yes we do need rebates, yes we do need to look at other forms of alternative energy, and this is a clean energy that we can provide and that’s what we want to do.

Courtenay:  The sun provides the energy and High Plains provides the expertise; an open book, with a bright future.

High Plains also wants to educate future generations.  With their new mobile lab they’ll be able to travel to local schools and educate kids on the advancing technology and future jobs solar energy will provide.

Rob:  Well solar power currently accounts for 0.5% of total electricity supplies, but if carbon emission goals are achieved, this will only rise.  Yet despite such potential, there are some dark clouds in the solar energy future.  In an effort to plug current budget gaps, the US House of Representatives is looking to cut billions of dollars in loan guarantees for solar projects.  And, industry insiders feel this would cripple the fledgling industry.