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Ribbon cutting for new EV charger in Red Wing
Chris Meyer
01/24/2019 - 4:44pm
Electric vehicle growth is happening across Southeast Minnesota! The number of electric vehicles (EVs) in the US is relatively small today but expected to expand 7 times over in the next 6 years, to over 7 million. Xcel Energy, Minnesota’s largest electric utility, believes that in Minnesota the number of EV’s will be quadrupling in the next 10 years to 300,000, and as a result is poised to invest $25 million, the majority of that in Minnesota, to improve the charging infrastructure and expand EV fleets. With that in mind we have seen a high level of participation, collaboration, and expansion of EV activities in Southeastern Minnesota. Cities, private businesses, and electric utilities have all been learning, sharing, and taking action across the region with facilitation from CERTs.   Out of the Box Thinking Enables a Red Wing DC Fast Charger   In November, Red Wing...
Castle Community
Chris Meyer
01/23/2019 - 4:37pm
A unique collaboration brought energy modeling and efficiency measures into the renovation of the former National Guard Armory in Rochester—now dubbed the Castle Community. The measures are expected to reduce energy use by 20% when the building reopens as a multi-use space consisting of a restaurant, artist studios, gallery, and community gathering and events center. Building a Team General contractor Benike Construction wanted to promote efficiency in the Castle Community redevelopment. They approached the project owner, Scott Hoss, and then enlisted the help of Dru Larson from Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), and Kevin Bright, Energy and Sustainability Director at Destination Medical Center (DMC). Together...
Minnesota Energy Efficiency Potential Study
Dept. of Commerce
12/13/2018 - 2:05pm
Minnesota utilities should be able to continue to meet or exceed their annual energy-savings goals over the next decade, according to the Minnesota Energy Efficiency Potential Study: 2020-2029 prepared for the Minnesota Department of Commerce and released on Dec. 4. The study was led by the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) and funded by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program. The study outlines how utilities can continue their success with both existing and new energy-saving measures that benefit Minnesota households and businesses. It estimates that by 2029 utility conservation programs could decrease demand for electricity by 14% and by 11% for natural gas....
Energy Efficiency Holiday Gift Ideas
Dept. of Commerce
12/13/2018 - 11:51am
This holiday season is an opportunity to pick out special gifts that your family will appreciate and that have the added bonus of delivering energy savings and a smaller carbon footprint. When you select appliances, electronics and lighting that carry the ENERGY STAR® label, you can trust that your gift meets strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For a wide variety of energy-efficient holiday gifts, including special deals and rebates, the Minnesota Commerce Department recommends the ENERGY STAR website. An ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostat is one of the many gifts that will keep on giving for years with energy savings. Check out these other gift ideas… Gifts for tech lovers:...
Minnesota's electric mix getting cleaner and cleaner
Dept. of Commerce
12/13/2018 - 10:07am
Minnesota’s clean energy progress is continuing at a strong pace! Overall, renewable energy generated 24.9% of the state’s electricity in 2017 compared to 8.4% in 2007, an increase of about 300% in the past decade, according to the most recent Minnesota Renewable Energy Update from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Wind alone generated 18.2% of Minnesota’s electricity in 2017, and large increases in wind power are expected over the next three years from projects that are already approved and currently under construction or in development. Meanwhile, electricity produced in the state from coal dropped to 39% in 2017 from 59% in 2007. For specific updates on wind and solar and utility plans for expanded renewable energy, read the...
Colby Abazs, new Northeast CERT Coordinator
Joel Haskard
12/12/2018 - 2:07pm
The Clean Energy Resource Teams are pleased to introduce Colby Abazs, who will now be taking the lead as the coordinator of our Northeast Region! Staffing Transition: Colby got started as part of a team working on Northeast CERT activities this past summer. With staffing transitions, Colby is now moving into the lead, front-and-center role as our Northeast CERT Coordinator. We’re thrilled to have Colby carry forward the momentum he’s already been building as he’s been out engaging with folks around the region. About Colby: Colby grew up in an off-grid home powered by solar and wind energy in Finland, MN. As a kid, the batteries had to be above 50 volts to be allowed to watch movies. This sparked his interest in energy production and usage at a young age, a passion that he has continued to pursue throughout life. While in college, Colby took on leadership roles in student governance...
The GE 2.0-116 rotor being lifted in place.
Joel Haskard
12/05/2018 - 2:31pm
Juhl Energy, GE Renewable Energy, and Bank of America are partnering for what they call the first commercial, integrated solar-wind hybrid power generation project in the United States, according to articles in North American Windpower and Utility Dive. Minnesota-based Juhl Energy developed the 2 MW, community-based renewable energy project to provide locally generated energy to the Lake Region Electric Cooperative of Pelican Rapids, MN. The project will use one GE 2.0-116 wind turbine, supported by 0.5 MW of PV solar. “The Solar-Wind Hybrid project was supported in-part by the University...
David and Lissa facilitate conversation after the film screening and presentations
Lissa Pawlisch
12/03/2018 - 4:43pm
On November 27, over 140 people from the Red River Valley attended a film screening of the new documentary, The Power of Minnesota, that took take place at the Historic Fargo Theatre. Event highlights included a social with appetizers, presentations from local speakers, a screening of the documentary, and a community conversation to explore the Red River Valley’s clean energy developments. Read on to see all of the details!   The Program   The Historic Fargo Theatre was bustling with more than 140 attendees chatting over appetizers before the program started. At 7pm David Ripplinger from North Dakota State University Extension welcomed everyone and, with help from Lissa Pawlisch at the Clean Energy Resource Teams, thanked partners (Prairie Public, City of Moorhead, NDSU Extension, UMN Extension, and CERTs). We...
wood pellets!
Fritz Ebinger
12/03/2018 - 12:29pm
The U.S. Forest Service recently announced $8 million in grant funding available for applied research projects that expand wood product and wood energy markets and improve forest health. Applications for funding will be accepted through January 23, 2019. Eligible applicants include businesses; State, local, and Tribal governments; school districts; communities; non-profit organizations; institutions of higher education; and special purpose districts (e.g. public utility districts, fire districts, conservation districts and ports). Eligible projects include: Funding for stationary wood energy equipment, Engineering designs, cost analyses, and permitting, Developing manufacturing capacity and markets for wood products Showcasing quantifiable environmental and...
Swine farmers learn about energy efficiency and solar at CERTs event in Fairmont
Fritz Ebinger
11/27/2018 - 1:21pm
Over 35 farmers, utility staff and community members met on the morning of November 15 to learn about methods and technologies to manage energy consumption in swine barns. The event was hosted by Southwest CERT, Great River Energy, and the Minnesota Pork Producers Association. And a huge thank you to the Martin County Pork Producers for the great pork chops at lunch!   Start with Energy Efficiency and Know Where Your Barn Uses Energy   Jill Eide, CEM from Great River Energy kicked off the session explaining Great River Energy and its member cooperatives focus on energy efficiency to keep production costs down. Jill described Great River Energy’s new farm audit program, “Energy Wise for your Farm” which launched this past summer with funding from the...


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