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Photos from the 2018 CERTs Conference
Lissa Pawlisch
Fri, 04/06/2018 - 12:54pm
Over 500 Minnesotans attended the seventh statewide CERTs Conference, connecting to build a clean energy future in their communities! March 28-29 were two truly energizing days in St. Cloud, MN for the 2018 CERTs Conference. Communities, organizations, and individuals showed up to figure out how they can get projects done, save money, and be part of Minnesota’s fastest growing jobs sector. See photos from the event:   Conference presentations available for download   The 2018 CERTs Conference featured 80 speakers who shared their experience and expertise. Their presentations are now available so you can see what you...
CERTs Seed Grants
Lissa Pawlisch
Thu, 02/01/2018 - 4:55pm
The Clean Energy Resource Teams are excited to announce 39 Seed Grant awards to organizations in our seven regions! Each region awarded around $20,000, catalyzing energy efficiency and renewable energy across the state. CERTs has awarded more than $1 million to over 300 projects since 2006. Continue reading to explore a map of projects and see details about each of the grants. To learn more about past funded projects, visit our CERTs Seed Grants page. Download a PDF with all projects   |   Download a Press Release   |   Share on Facebook and Twitter...
Award recipients from the 2016 Clean Energy Community Awards
MN Dept. of Commerce
Tue, 12/12/2017 - 1:46pm
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has announced the opening of the application process for the 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards (CECA) to recognize the good work of Minnesota communities in helping achieve the state’s clean energy goals. Commerce is the sponsor and coordinator of the program, with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy. Applications and award information are available, and applications will be accepted until February 12, 2018. The awards will recognize communities that implement planning, programs, policies, and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy generation and will be given in two categories, Achievement and Planning. This is the second year the awards have been given, and you can...
In 2016 there were 57,351 clean energy jobs in MN
Dan Thiede
Thu, 09/07/2017 - 2:49pm
Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) today released a new report called Clean Jobs Midwest from Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs that finds that Minnesota now has 57,351 total clean energy jobs. In the last 12 months, Minnesota’s clean energy industry grew by 5.3 percent, adding 2,893 jobs—3.8 times faster than overall job growth in the state. Despite the rapid growth that has already occurred, clean energy technology continues to present a significant opportunity for business and job growth. “This report tells the story of how Minnesota’s rapid transition to cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy is driving job creation all across our state,” said Gregg Mast, executive director of...
Attendees discuss our energy future
Lissa Pawlisch
Tue, 11/17/2015 - 12:39pm
During the month of October, 2015, folks in Mankato, Staples, and Grand Rapids had a chance to share their input on the Minnesota 2025 Energy Action Plan. CERTs hosted these three events (as well as an event in St. Paul) to gather feedback, with attendees participating in small group discussions on two of these five topics: Energy planning Industry & agriculture Buildings & energy efficiency Mobility, transportation & fuels Energy supply & grid modernization “It was great getting input from such diverse stakeholders across the state,” said Lissa Pawlisch, CERTs Director. “Folks in every region noted the need to scale up energy efficiency in existing buildings, and there was real interest in distributed energy systems with the recent boom in solar, continued growth in wind energy, and opportunities for greater use of biomass.” We want your input, too...
USDA
Dan Thiede
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:00am
USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced that USDA is seeking applications from rural small businesses and agricultural producers for funding to make energy efficiency improvements or to install renewable energy systems. “Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America,” Landkamer said. “This funding will help rural small business owners, farmers and ranchers incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology into their operations, create jobs and help America become more energy independent. When small rural businesses and farmers cut their energy costs with cleaner and more efficient energy, we are both helping their bottom lines and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that affects our climate.” The funding announced today is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program...
USDA
Alexis Troschinetz
Mon, 03/17/2014 - 6:37pm
The Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) from USDA Rural Development is a funding opportunity for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs for farmers and rural small businesses. We recently held a webinar to walk participants through the 2014 USDA Rural Development REAP funding cycle and example project ideas. The webinar recording and PowerPoint slides are available here for you to review.   In the webinar: Ron Omann, the State Energy & Environmental Coordinator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development reviews key changes to REAP, eligibility to seek funds, filling out the application, and how projects are scored. Download slides >> Fritz Ebinger, the Energy Program Manager of The Minnesota Project, a partner of...
Recent reports
Dept. of Commerce
Tue, 02/04/2014 - 2:54pm
The Minnesota Department of Commerce (DOC) has posted three reports as required by state legislation passed in 2013. The three reports are available as PDFs on the Energy Reports section of the Division of Energy Resources website, or can be accessed using the links below. The three reports, commissioned by DOC, include: Scoping an Energy Future Study for Minnesota – The Scoping an Energy Future Study for Minnesota develops a scope for a study of how Minnesota can achieve a sustainable energy system that does not rely on fossil fuels. The report identifies potential approaches and considerations to assess cross-sector opportunities in electrical, transportation, thermal, industrial, and agricultural sectors....
CERTs Seed Grants
Lissa Pawlisch
Thu, 12/12/2013 - 5:20pm
The Clean Energy Resource Teams are excited to announce the projects awarded Seed Grants in each of the seven Minnesota CERTs regions. Most regions awarded $20,000 worth of seed grants, catalyzing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the state. The funding is provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. There were 34 seed grants awarded in total, across a broad spectrum of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Many projects also include components of education, outreach and community building, and research. Read on for all of the details! Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal. Since 2006, CERTs has awarded $922,500 to more than 223 projects. To learn more about past funded projects, visit our CERTs-Supported Projects page....
Redwood Area Development Corporation Website
Annette Fiedler
Tue, 10/15/2013 - 4:13pm
The Redwood Area Development Corporation (RADC) developed a new website with a renewable energy portal on the homepage. Julie Rath with RADC is excited about the new site and content: “Having the portal right on the homepage will open up opportunities for citizens and businesses to find easier access to the tool they need for their own projects, energy rebates, funding sources, etc.” Posting of actual stories and the energy portal have helped to increase the awareness of CERTs, the GreenStep Cities Program, and other energy-related programs that communities and residents may not have been aware of. Along with the energy portal, postings on Facebook and Twitter have been highlighting energy projects in Redwood County. This marketing of information will help to spark interest in these initiatives and help to promote energy conservation in southwest Minnesota. “I know the website is...
Wind turbines near Lake Benton, MN
Dan Thiede
Thu, 08/22/2013 - 8:15am
Alexis Madrigal, senior editor at The Atlantic, has been looking at all things energy in a series of videos and reports on energy use. He and other reporters have been trying to break down how and where different types of energy are employed in the U.S. As it stands, renewable energy makes up only about 10 percent of what we use in the United States. But as energy from fossil fuels declines, renewable energy will likely be asked to shoulder more of the load. Listen to the discussion on MPR’s Daily Circuit among Alexis Madrigal, Kerri Miller, and listeners. See the post on the MPR website >>
Exciting developments happening at Hydrogen and Ammonia Pilot Pland in Morris
Kristi Loobeek
Thu, 08/01/2013 - 3:46pm
The West Central Research and Outreach Center has recently turned what was just a dream in 2002 into a reality. The project began with a vision of capturing wind energy and using it in an innovative way; the end product was the completion of the Renewable Hydrogen and Ammonia Pilot Plant located in Morris, Minnesota. The plant’s function is to ultimately create NH3 (ammonia). How does it work? Nitrogen and hydrogen are created using wind, air, and water. Nitrogen is pulled out of the air by pressurizing air to vent out the oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other chemicals to leave behind the nitrogen molecules. A current of electricity produced by the wind turbine is put into water, splitting the hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen is vented off to leave behind pure hydrogen. After a process of mixing the nitrogen and hydrogen and then heating...
Funding for clean energy projects
MN Dept. of Commerce
Wed, 05/08/2013 - 10:37am
The following is a sample of new energy-related funding opportunities being promoted by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.   RFP for Conservation Applied Research and Development Grant Program – Seeks proposals from organizations or individuals interested in applied research and development projects that serve to accelerate the development and adoption of new energy efficient technologies and strategies in Minnesota. The information obtained from this effort is intended to inform electric and natural gas utility Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) development and state energy policy. Eligibility: Individuals, public or private entities actively involved in electricity and natural gas efficiency program implementation or research and development Topic: Conservation...
Solar PV at Squash Blossom Farm in Altura, MN
Joel Haskard
Mon, 04/22/2013 - 11:28am
The US Department of Agriculture announced their Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant application recently. These grants can pay for up to 25% of the eligible costs of a renewable energy project. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of funding and implement your renewable energy and/or energy efficiency projects in the Minnesota. The deadline is now May 31, 2013. What’s available? USDA Rural Development has recently been made aware of access to additional funding for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) which will increase the 2013 funding from approximately $20 million to $60 million. What are the deadlines? The application deadline for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Improvement (REEI) and Feasibility Study grants has been extended from April 30, 2013 to May 31, 2013 to facilitate the spending of these additional funds. The application...
Pentagon officials to visit Energy for Defense II event in the Twin Cities
Kristi Loobeek
Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:00pm
May 1st marks an exciting day for the clean energy community of Minnesota! The 2013 Energy for Defense II event will center on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)—the world’s largest consumer and developer of power and energy solutions—and will showcase to the DoD the innovative energy solutions available in the Midwest region. The Assistant Secretary of Defense of Operational Energy Policy & Programs, the Honorable Sharon Burke, will be the keynote presenter at the 2013 Energy for Defense II event. Accompanying Burke will be Minnesota Senator Al Franken (invited) who is Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The event also includes interactive sessions about operational and facilities’ energy needs, now and for the future. This incredible event will not only feature powerful speakers, but will also provide a great opportunity...
CERTs 2013 Conference
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/06/2013 - 7:06pm
At the CERTs 2013 Conference, a half day of in-depth workshops and an evening reception on February 20th, 2013 will be followed by a full day of sessions, networking time, and exhibits on the 21st. With the conference less than three weeks away, we’re excited to share with you the full agenda for both days of the conference, complete with workshop and session descriptions and speaker names. If you were wondering what the conference holds in store for you, it doesn’t get much more clear than this! See all of the details below…   Pre-Conference Workshops & Reception Wednesday, February 20, 2013   11:00AM-12:00PM Registration, Networking & Exhibitor Time (Terry Haws Hall C) 12:00-1:00PM Lunch, Networking & Exhibitor Time (Terry Haws Hall C) 1:00-5:00PM Your...
Minnesota GreenStep Cities
Diana McKeown
Wed, 01/16/2013 - 7:34pm
The GreenStep Cities program begins 2013 by announcing the 50th city to join the program. At the end of December, the Maple Grove City Council approved a resolution for the city to take part in this voluntary program of the League of Minnesota Cities and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), among others. “Since the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program was officially launched in June 2010, cities from all over the state and of varying sizes have decided to take advantage of the free assistance program,” said Philipp Muessig, GreenStep Cities Coordinator, MPCA. Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. This free...
Let's get local projects done!
Lissa Pawlisch
Thu, 01/10/2013 - 9:23pm
The 5th Statewide CERTs Conference – Community-Driven Clean Energy – is coming up on February 20-21, 2013 in Saint Cloud, and more than ever before it will be focused on conversations and action. You should return home with connections, project ideas, and even collaborators who live and work in your part of the state. The conference will culminate in Regional Sessions that allow you to do just that ( see how they fit into the full agenda ). Because it’s the first time we’ve done something like this, we wanted to fill you in more about exactly what the Regional Sessions hold in store.   What are the goals of the Regional Sessions?   The ultimate goal of the CERTs Conference Regional Sessions is to identify five energy efficiency or renewable energy projects that can be...
Renewable Electricity Futures Study from NREL
Lissa Pawlisch
Fri, 09/21/2012 - 9:27am
A report published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures), is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the continental United States over the next several decades. This study explores the implications and challenges of very high renewable electricity generation levels—from 30% up to 90%, focusing on 80%, of all U.S. electricity generation from renewable technologies—in 2050. At such high levels of renewable electricity generation, the unique characteristics of some renewable resources, specifically geographical distribution and variability and uncertainty in output, pose challenges to the operability of the nation’s electric system. Key Findings: Renewable electricity generation from...
U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force
Eliza Leahy
Wed, 09/19/2012 - 10:58am
A year ago, the U.S. Army’s Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) was approved by Secretary of the Army, John M. McHugh, with the goal to enhance the Army’s commitment to energy security and sustainability. Now the Army is looking for business partners in Minnesota and across the country to help them meet their 25% by 2025 Renewable Energy Standard. The US Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) has issued a Multiple-Award Task Order (MATOC) Request for Proposal for $7 billion. The total capacity of the contract will be expended for the purchase of energy from contractors producing renewable and alternative energy through power purchase agreements. Could your renewable energy service contribute to this national commitment to sustainability? For more information, see the...
Do It Green! Directory
Dan Thiede
Mon, 08/20/2012 - 11:21am
The Do It Green! Directory has been promoting Minnesota’s green businesses and organizations online for a decade. With more than 13,000 visitors each month, it’s a great place to let sustainability-minded community members find out who you are and what you can offer them. The Directory is published by Do It Green! Minnesota, a local non-profit organization. There has never been a better time to join the Do It Green! Directory! This year they’re upgrading the Directory—increasing its reach and making it an indispensible tool for the green community. They’re adding two NEW Directory versions: A Print Directory: 10,000+ copies distributed free at high traffic Minnesota green businesses and green events. A Downloadable Directory: free PDF download offered through Do It Green! Minnesota and various other green community...
CERTs extendes seed grant deadline
Lissa Pawlisch
Thu, 07/19/2012 - 8:06am
The Clean Energy Resource Teams want to help your community kickstart a clean energy project, and we’ve extended our application deadline to August 6th, 2012. Each of the seven CERT regional teams are looking to seed innovative, community-based clean energy projects, and yours could be a good fit. The application process is simple and straightforward, and we offer lots of tools and resources to help you plan your project and put together the best proposal possible. We also hope that you’ll help us spread the word to others that you know who have great energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects. Applications must be submitted no later than Aug 6th, 2012 at 4pm. To learn more & apply, visit http://rfp.mncerts.org today!...

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