Green Energy Challenge


In 2009, a five-person team of students from Iowa State’s civil, construction and environmental engineering department decided to participate in the “Green Energy Challenge”. The Students, who were members of the National Electrical Contractors Association – Student Chapter, which Thompson Electric has been an active member in NECA for many decades.

Eight years and eight competitions later, the 2016 ELECTRI International Green Energy Challenge Team, which is sponsored by the Iowa Chapter NECA, which Barney Pottebaum, VP and General Manager of Sioux City is the Iowa NECA President.  The team started with 5 members and is now 12 members strong and officially named Cyclone Energy.

What started out with humble beginnings has turned into a winning team with 3 straight first place finishes in the “Green Energy Challenge” in 2014 & 2015 and 2016. Along with the team championships, in 2015, Iowa State NECA Team earns NECA Student Chapter of the Year.

The “Green Energy Challenge” is sponsored by ELECTRI International Foundation and challenges student chapters across the nation to create a proposal for sustainable updates to a building in their community.

ELECTRI International Foundation also sponsors the Student Passport Initiative for NECA Student Chapters, which is a program that NECA Student Chapters compete on green energy projects for international locations.  Past winners have had projects in Honduras, Costa Rica and Ecuador to name a few.  Nick Rol, a project manager for Thompson Electric in Sioux City, was one of the Passport judges this year.