UAH AEE Student Chapter Installs Solar Panels to Golf Cart

Last week, The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) student chapter outfitted a golf cart with solar panels, making the vehicle virtually maintenance free. The event served as a kickoff for the AEE student chapter to raise awareness among the UAH community about sustainable energy.

“Working with UAH students is easily the best part of my job! They come up with crazy fun ideas like these and make them happen. It really encourages me that these students will be the ones leading Alabama to sustainable energy future,” said Daniel Tait, CEO of Energy Alabama.

To read the full article, please visit:

UAH Students Install Solar Panel to School Golf Cart

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) golf cart will never need to be plugged in again. Some young minds outfitted it with solar panels so it gets natural — and free — energy to power it.

With help from Energy Alabama, the golf cart is the only one being outfitted — for now. The team hopes it will become a moving billboard as it moves students and staff across campus to promote the accessibility and convenience of solar power.

To read the full article, please visit:

The E in STEM Also Stands for Energy

ALCSE CEO, Daniel Tait, shared an opinion piece on about NerdWallet’s ranking of Huntsville, AL as the best place for STEM careers. Tait was sure to point out that the E in STEM also stands for Energy, and that sustainable energy careers are booming.

Last week NerdWallet, a national financial ranking website, proclaimed that Huntsville is the best place in the United States for a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) career.

Huntsville claimed the title due to plentiful STEM jobs and a low cost of living ahead of other high profile STEM hubs including California’s Silicon Valley and North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Coming as no surprise to anyone who has lived in Huntsville for longer than two weeks, the ranking is a testament to the vitality and potential of our community.

Traditionally, Huntsville’s economic fortunes leaned heavily on NASA, the Department of Defense and their related support structures. Recently, STEM innovators like the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology have exploded onto the scene and expanded STEM opportunities into diverse fields beyond those of the aerospace and defense industries.

If this success is to continue, Huntsville’s must include a broader spectrum of STEM-related careers. Differentiation in the STEM field enables our city to build on a positive track record of innovation and cements our status as technology leader in the 21st century.

One of the most promising STEM career fields is energy, particularly sustainable energy. Sustainable energy careers are booming across many areas the country

Read the full article at

Toyota USA Foundation to Support Local Charity with $100K Grant for Sustainable Energy Education

Huntsville, Ala – Energy Alabama was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the Toyota USA Foundation to support sustainable energy education in the Huntsville community. The grant will support sustainable K12 energy curriculum development and for the construction of “net zero energy” or off-grid tiny homes. Energy Alabama has partnered with Bob Jones High School and the Huntsville Center for Technology and construction of the first tiny home is already underway. The grant also enables more than 10,000 students to receive clean, sustainable energy instruction, events, and hands-on activities, all with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“We know that the future of our society will be built on increasingly sophisticated technological expertise and innovative problem solving,” said Michael Rouse, Toyota USA Foundation President. “That’s why Toyota USA Foundation is proud to support these nonprofits, who are creating exciting opportunities to train and inspire the next generation of leaders in science, technology, engineering and math.”

High school students may be building the tiny homes but the community will be invited to finish assembly of the first tiny home over the summer of 2015.

“With this grant from the Toyota USA Foundation, we are able to provide the STEM education in sustainable energy and students will be inspired to enter careers in STEM related fields,” said Daniel Tait, CEO of Energy Alabama.

Examples of activities already undertaken as a result of this grant are:

  • The “Switch Blade Competition” in which a team from the University of Alabama in Huntsville redesigned a wind turbine blade that performed 44% better at low speeds than the original design
  • Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) Fest with a hands-on wind energy display reaching over 500 students at the K-12 level.
  • Participation in two Earth day events with hands-on demonstrations including an ‘energy bike’ which taught more than 500 students the basic principles of energy.
  • Hosting a public documentary screening of “Switch: Discover Our Energy Future”


About the Energy Alabama

Energy Alababma is accelerating the transition to sustainable, clean energy throughout Alabama. We do this by widely promoting sustainable energy as a feasible, state-wide goal, by executing high-impact clean energy projects across the State, and by providing people with information and opportunities to help make clean energy choices. We work with policy makers, public agencies, local governments, educational institutions, utilities, business and civic leaders and individuals to transform Alabama’s energy marketplace and beyond. ALCSE is committed to powering Huntsville with 100% clean and efficient energy by 2025 and Alabama by 2035.

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Daniel Tait at (256) 303-7773 or email at

Student-Made Windmill Blade Outdoes Manufacturer

Student-Made Windmill Blade Outdoes Manufacturer

Students throughout northern Alabama competed in the inaugural Switch Blade Competition on Thursday at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Each team was required to redesign the blades of a windmill to adjust to the low power wind conditions of Alabama. Senior systems engineer Bill Pannell, from the Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, came up with the idea while experimenting with a windmill used for military operations in Afghanistan.

Students from Alabama A&M University, Columbia High School, Hartselle High School and the University of Alabama in Huntsville received a $500 stipend to fund their project.

The Switch Blade Competition is a great example of how we’re trying to make the quest to 100 percent clean energy in Huntsville fun,” said Daniel Tait, chief executive officer, Alabama Center for Sustainable Energy. “Students get to engage with some of the toughest problems we need to address as a community while gaining hands-on experience with real equipment being used by the U.S. Army.

To continue reading the full article, please visit:

Congratulations to the UAH Green Wind Power Available at Low Speed, or GWPALS, team! They were the winners of this first inaugural Switch Blade contest.