Renewable Energy Pioneer Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Lehman, founding director of Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center and a professor emeritus of Environmental Resources Engineering, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Energy Commission’s Clean Energy Hall of Fame.

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Peter Lehman, founding director of Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center.

Peter Lehman, founding director of Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center and a professor emeritus of Environmental Resources Engineering at HSU, will receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Energy Commission’s Clean Energy Hall of Fame. This award recognizes longtime leaders in clean energy who have had a significant positive impact on the State of California and environmental justice communities.

“I’m honored and proud to receive this lifetime achievement award,” says Lehman. “A teacher’s best reward is seeing their students succeed and this award is built on the success of many of my students over the years. Some have become my colleagues at the Schatz Center and I couldn’t have accomplished what I have without them.”

Since 1989, Lehman has been at the forefront of groundbreaking research, from hydrogen fuel cells to renewable microgrid development. Most recently, he served as the lead faculty researcher for the Redwood Coast Airport Microgrid at Humboldt County’s regional airport. When launched this Fall, the microgrid will be the first 100% renewable, multi-customer microgrid in California. Lehman and Schatz Center colleagues also led the development of a cutting-edge microgrid for Blue Lake Rancheria, which provides renewable electricity, lowers the Rancheria’s energy costs, and supports clean energy jobs.

“Peter’s life’s work has been promoting clean and renewable energy, and he has done this with passion and focus. Over the years he has been a leader, mentor, and colleague to me and so many others. This award is very well deserved,” says Schatz Center Director Arne Jacobson.

In 1979, Lehman came to HSU to develop the energy resources program within the Environmental Resources Engineering major. Together with colleague Bob Gearheart, he founded the International Development Technology graduate program, which has since evolved into the Energy, Technology & Policy program. He also worked with a group of students to found the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology—an innovative eco-demonstration house led by students—and served as its faculty advisor for the first 22 years.

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Peter Lehman and Schatz Energy Center co-director Charles Chamberlin outside the Schatz Solar Hydrogen Project at HSU’s Marine Lab in 1992. The project demonstrated the utility of hydrogen to store solar energy.

The Clean Energy Hall of Fame award ceremony will be held virtually on December 10 at 2 p.m. The awards include the Lifetime Achievement award, four Clean Energy Champion awards, and the Youth Game-Changer award. Register for the event and learn more about the awardees.

About The Schatz Energy Research Center
Humboldt State University’s Schatz Energy Research Center in Arcata, California develops clean and renewable energy technologies for implementation worldwide. Current projects and expertise include microgrid design, off-grid energy access, offshore wind feasibility, bioenergy assessment, and clean transportation.