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Castle Community
Chris Meyer
Wed, 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...
The GE 2.0-116 rotor being lifted in place.
Joel Haskard
Wed, 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
Mon, 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...
Bill Sanford at Lakeland PBS leading a tour. Photo by Sarah Gazelka
Joel Anastasio
Thu, 10/18/2018 - 4:43pm
Back to back clean energy events at Lakeland PBS on Thursday October 11th featured a tour of solar, geothermal, and energy efficiency projects, a screening of a new MN clean energy documentary, and local speakers.   Geeking out: Touring clean energy projects at Lakeland PBS in Bemidji   An afternoon event featured a behind-the-scenes tour of the Lakeland PBS facility, including their cost-saving solar, geothermal, and energy efficiency projects. Over 40 people from Bemidji and across the region attended the tour, with interests ranging from sustainability to economics, and from technology to community engagement. Bill Sanford, CEO and Director of Engineering at Lakeland PBS, led the tours and elaborated on their energy projects and how others could do the same. “We’re excited to be partnering with...
Chisago County Solar Celebration on October 4, 2018
Dan Thiede
Fri, 10/05/2018 - 4:26pm
On Thursday, October 4, Chisago County took center stage at the Chisago Lakes High School Performing Arts Center in Lindstrom to celebrate the county’s role as the Solar Energy Capital of Minnesota. Solar in Chisago County: The 100MW North Star Solar installation in Chisago County is Minnesota’s largest, and produces enough electricity to power about 20,000 homes. Chisago County is also home to several community solar gardens and installations on area homes and businesses. This event, and The Power of Minnesota film, focused on telling the many stories of the people behind this enormous accomplishment. Event highlights: Michael Noble, Executive Director of Fresh Energy, kicked off the event with a talk about the country’s dramatic shift to a clean energy economy, and the role that Chisago County is playing. He spoke about the drastic price reductions in solar, wind, and battery...
The Power of Minnesota evening in Canby
Lissa Pawlisch
Mon, 10/01/2018 - 4:56pm
On September 18th, over 100 people gathered at the Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Canby for the first official screening of The Power of Minnesota documentary. Pioneer Public Television also unveiled a segment of an upcoming Prairie Sportsman episode that features solar and pollinator habitat (and honey and beer and cider). The Power of Minnesota film is about people, their communities, and their stories about clean energy development around the state. Following the screenings, participants shared conversations with their neighbors about what they learned and what surprised them about the film. For example: people we shocked to learn that there are nearly 60,000 clean energy jobs in Minnesota! They shared their clean energy questions: for example, how do we get more youth engaged in the clean energy industry and careers?...
PACE counties and stories
Peter Lindstrom
Fri, 09/21/2018 - 3:45pm
From the Greenway Office Building in Minneapolis to Timm’s Trucking in Morristown and from AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji to the First National Bank in Saint Paul, businesses are benefitting from solar and efficiency improvements with no up-front costs and streamlined payments through their property tax assessments. Updated map: 63 of Minnesota...
Itasca County Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Joel Haskard
Fri, 06/08/2018 - 11:52am
A small business with an aging building can benefit immensely from energy efficiency upgrades, benefits such as reduced utility bills, improved building aesthetics and increased building life. However, these upgrades can be financially cumbersome to small businesses that often operate on smaller margins. The Business Energy Retrofit (BER) grant program can help alleviate energy upgrade costs to small businesses. It is funded by Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation and administered through a partnership with Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA). Two Grand Rapids businesses recently took advantage of this program.   Itasca County Habitat for Humanity ReStore   The Itasca County Habitat for Humanity ReStore (pictured above) received a BER grant to pay a portion of the costs for electricity...
Business Blitzers (left to right): John Howard, City of Winona; Chris Meyer, SE CERT coordinator; Sadie Neuman, City of Winona; Alexis Troschinetz, CERTs; Joel Haskard, CERTs
Sadie Neuman
Tue, 05/08/2018 - 2:34pm
After a snowstorm delayed plans, five staff from the City of Winona and Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) set out in March for the first Business Blitz in downtown Winona. The blitz involved walking door-to-door in downtown Winona to speak with small and medium sized businesses about reducing energy use and saving money on their energy bills. They achieved their goal of reaching 100 small and medium businesses, and signed 29 businesses up for free energy assessments with EnergySmart, a program offered by the State Chamber of Commerce. The blitz is following the success of a series of blitzes in other communities over the past several years. Throughout the day, the Business Blitz team informed business owners...
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...
Becky Alexander with LHB
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 9:37pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Becky Alexander, Architect and Researcher at LHB, Inc., to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Becky Alexander: As an architect and sustainability researcher at local architecture and...
Nina Axelson with Ever-Green Energy
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 9:29pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Nina Axelson, Vice President Public Relations with Ever-Green Energy, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Nina Axelson: I oversee public affairs for Ever-Green Energy, a utility...
Shanelle Montana with EDF Renewable Energy
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 9:24pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Shanelle Montana, Senior Project Developer with EDF Renewable Energy, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Shanelle Montana: I focus on development in the MISO (Midcontinent Independent...
Nancy Kelly with Michaels Energy
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 9:04pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Nancy Kelly, Managing Engineer for Evaluation at Michaels Energy, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Nancy Kelly: I currently work for Michaels Energy, an energy efficiency consulting...
Erica Forsman with US Solar Corporation
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 4:43pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Erica Forsman, Project Developer with United States Solar Corporation, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Erica Forsman: I work as a Project Developer for US Solar, a developer, owner, and...
Tena Monson with Geronimo Energy
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 4:15pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Tena Monson, Director of Solar Development at Geronimo Energy, to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Tena Monson: As renewable energy developers, my team identifies locations for...
Christine Huston with Blattner Energy, Inc.
Dan Thiede
Wed, 02/28/2018 - 3:34pm
The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2018, which is Women’s History Month, culminating in a reception at the 2018 CERTs Conference in St. Cloud on March 28th. As part of the series we interviewed Christine Huston, Business Development and Communications Coordinator with Blattner Energy, Inc., to learn more about her work, what inspires her, and how other women can get involved in the industry. Read on to learn more! Can you tell us a little bit about what you do in the energy world in Minnesota?   Christine Huston: I work at Blattner Energy, a...
Diana McKeown
Thu, 02/22/2018 - 4:50pm
The city of Minneapolis has launched a new solar incentive for small businesses that will match up to $0.25 per kWh match for the first year of solar production estimate AND will match $0.35 per kWh in recognized Environmental Justice areas or Green Zones of Minneapolis. The project must be installed before they will pay out the incentive so they can get an accurate assumption of production. Patrick Hanlon, Director of Environmental Programs for the City of Minneapolis, said “In Minneapolis we know the threats of climate change are real, as is the pollution associated with our energy choices. We created this program to create real change to start improving the situation now. It’s fair to say this is the best incentive program of any individual city in the United States.” So it’s kind of a big deal! The goal of the Minneapolis Green...
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...
Solar Video Contest
Dan Thiede
Mon, 01/22/2018 - 10:49am
For the last two years the Clean Energy Resource Teams have hosted a Solar Video Contest at the Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association’s Midwest Gateway to Solar Conference. We’ve been blown away by the creative, powerful, funny, and informative submission we get, and this year was no different! Keep reading to see who won this time around and watch their videos.   First Place Video: “The Generation for Solar” by Edina Project Earth Edina High School’s Project Earth environmental club made this video to show that the next generation supports an increase of solar energy in Minnesota. We know that this is the best choice for our future, and want to promote the benefits of solar energy.   Second Place Video: “Solar Powers Minnesota” by Marley & James   The future isn’t what it used to be. Go...
Waconia Public Schools third-party solar ribbon cutting
Peter Lindstrom
Thu, 01/11/2018 - 12:24pm
This blog is excerpted from a Finance & Commerce story by Frank Jossi. Third-party ownership is one of the growing number of ways building owners can support solar energy and reduce their utility bills. Under the arrangement, a third-party owner earns money by selling the energy production to building owners for prices substantially less than local utilities charge them. They can do that because generous federal tax breaks provided to solar energy developers dramatically reduce the cost of the solar projects. Many local governments are interested in third-party ownership because they have no way to finance hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment, said Peter Lindstrom, Clean Energy Resource Teams’ local government outreach coordinator. Third-party owners have begun...
City of Shorewood
Diana McKeown
Fri, 10/27/2017 - 10:08am
On October 25, 2017, Metro CERT paid a visit to Shorewood, MN to talk to small businesses about energy-saving projects. CERT hoped to raise awareness about opportunities available through rebates and programs offered by their utilities. From the chocolatier to the VFW hall, we had lively conversations about how to save money for these local businesses and organizations. During the visit, Metro CERT staff were able to talk with more than 30 businesses. We even had the pleasure of Shorewood Councilmember Kristine Sundberg joining us for these one-on-on conversations with businesses. CERTs brought materials from CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy to distribute to business owners. One of the reasons Councilmember Sundberg is passionate about talking to businesses about energy saving opportunities is because Shorewood is one of Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy communities. Through this...

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