Solar Energy Case Studies


The Headwaters Regional Development Commission (HRDC) recently used grant funding from CERTs to conduct a community survey in Beltrami County, Minnesota in order to identify and understand the community’s renewable energy and energy efficiency financing needs. HRDC partnered with the Sustainability Office at Bemidji State University for the project and...
All of us, at some point in life, were stuck indoors on a beautiful day, and wished we could be outside. As kids, we’ve daydreamed about our teacher conducting class outside. As adults, we’ve joked with a co-worker about moving a desk outside on a nice afternoon, longing to escape the confines of a stuffy, drab office.
The story of Noah and the Ark, a man building a gigantic boat in preparation for a flood that no one else believed was coming, is familiar to most. Crosslake Presbyterian Church has recently taken a page out of Noah’s book and begun their own major undertaking that was initially dismissed by some. Project proponents commissioned a research study on the...
From the winter of 2012 through the spring of 2013, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance conducted a study on the use of open loop air ventilation systems as well as solar-powered furnaces (SPF) in high tunnels. The study used three high tunnels—one each with the aforementioned heating sytems respectively, and one with no supplemental heating in order to...
Paradox Farm in Ashby, Minnesota has recently completed a project imitating the Garden Goddess deep winter greenhouse model. The greenhouse model is capable of producing fresh crops all year round, even in the dead of winter, through utilizing underground heat storage and passive solar techniques. With supervision from one of the Garden Goddess’...
Minneapolis has big hopes for renewable energy in the city, with a goal of 1MW installed renewable capacity by 2014. A large step toward this goal was completed in 2011 with six individual solar projects installed along the Energy Innovation Corridor.
As the market for electric vehicles (EVs) grows and local dealerships begin stocking more of them, consumers will be thinking about where to find charging stations. While most EV owners charge their vehicles at home, drivers looking for a charge around town may struggle with an EV charging infrastructure in its infancy.
The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) on the Hunt Utilities Group Research campus in Pine River, Minnesota, has been working to address energy poverty for over a decade.
In one of the state’s most visible and most successful projects, St. Paul’s RiverCentre used $44,000 dollars in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding to replace 1,087 high-pressure sodium lights with new, energy efficient fluorescent lamps. The cost of the project was over $125,000 dollars, but RiverCentre, receiving EECBG funding and...
The Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) has recently worked hard to make local businesses shine. Currently, there are only a few solar photovoltaic (PV) flat roof type installations on Minneapolis small businesses and the Kingfield Neighborhood Association is trying to change that.


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Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission