Clean Energy Superheroes



Clean Energy Superheroes are seemingly ordinary people doing amazing things to help build our clean energy future! Watch Videos or Suggest Heroes.

Playlist on YouTube


Saint Paul’s Solarator: Breaking ground and powering MN solar industry

Ralph Jacobson, known in the superhero community as the Solarator, is the President of MnSEIA and the CEO of Innovative Power Systems. For the past 25 years, he has helped build the solar industry in Minnesota, creating plenty of opportunities for himself and others.



Dance Solar & Greenpeace Guy: Educators with a solar home in Saint Paul

Elizabeth Dickinson, known in the superhero community as Dance Solar, and her husband Christopher Childs, or Greenpeace Guy, own a home in Saint Paul powered by solar and work to educate and support others in Minnesota interested in clean energy! Watch the video to learn more about them and their powers of enthusiasm.



Little Miss Sunshine and Watt Weenie help power the Twin Cities with solar

Rebecca Lundberg and Dan Williams, the owners and operators of Powerfully Green in Champlin, MN, fly by night as Little Miss Sunshine and Watt Weenie. They have been bringing renewable energy to Minnesota’s Twin Cities and surrounding areas since 2007 by installing high-quality solar electric and thermal systems. Learn more on their website.



Randy “Gutsy” Hagen manufactures solar hot water systems in Alexandria

Innovative superhero Gutsy is known to his colleagues as Randy Hagen, President of Solar Skies in Alexandria, MN, where he and his team manufacture solar thermal hot water collectors and mounting hardware. You can learn more on their website, by reading a case study about a laundromat in Minnesota heating water with their collectors, and in a story from Minnesota Public Radio about a building that gets much of its hot water from their systems.



Bob the Builder and Quinnzillion in Pine River power sustainable communities

Bob the Builder and Quinnzillion (known to their friends and coworkers as Bob McLean and Quinn Swanson) are movers and shakers at the Hunt Utilities Group and Happy Dancing Turtle in Pine River, MN, whose 70-acre campus is a laboratory for better buildings, local food and zero waste—and over the past 12 years has become a destination for sustainable living. Learn more on the Hunt Utilities Group and Happy Dancing Turtle websites and a recent case study profile by CERTs. You should also check out their Pine River GreenStep Cities efforts.



Brainerd’s Storage Man with Silent Power makes clean energy systems reliable

Todd Headlee, or Storage Man, is the CEO of Silent Power, Inc. out of Brainerd, MN where they combine energy storage systems with their own inverter technology to ensure that homeowners and businesses have power when they need it most, and to allow utilities to better manage their peak demands! Learn more on their website and in another video alongside other energy entrepreneurs at the CERTs 2011 Conference.



Captain Kilowatt helps businesses save energy in Buffalo, MN

Joe Steffel, or Captain Kilowatt, is the Utilities Director with the City of Buffalo, and he’s working to build community among small businesses in Buffalo by helping them save energy and money! Learn more about their energy conservation program for small businesses in a newspaper article and on the city’s website.



Adventure Inn’s Super Sue & Marvelous Mark in Ely, MN

Sue and Mark Edgington are the owners of Adventure Inn located in Ely, MN where they built a highly efficient inn with solar water heating, use CFLs and water-saving devices, and have electric hookups for all cars! You can read more about their adventures in building, powering, and running a great inn on their blog.



Do you know a Clean Energy Superhero that CERTs should feature?

Send an email with their name, contact information, and what you think makes them a Clean Energy Superhero to Dan Thiede, Superhero Editor


Minnesotans building a clean energy future


    CERTs Partners:

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