Grants for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Awarded to 39 Projects Across Minnesota


by CERTs
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Community-focused clean energy efforts will take shape throughout 2016


Media Contact:
Dan Thiede
Communications Manager
Clean Energy Resource Teams

Full project details | Download release PDF | Download release Word

CERTs 2016 Seed Grant Projects Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – It is an energizing New Year for communities across Minnesota. The state’s Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) are awarding Seed Grants to 39 innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in communities from Slayton to Minneapolis to Grand Marais, and from Red Lake to Willmar to Rochester.

The 39 projects received funding across a broad spectrum of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Many projects also include components of education, outreach, community building, and research. These awards mark the eighth round of Seed Grants from the group, totalling over $1 million to 269 projects since 2006.

“CERTs provides these Seed Grants with two primary objectives in mind. First, to encourage implementation of community-based clean energy projects across the state. Second, to provide an educational forum for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and their economic, community, and ecological benefits,” says Lissa Pawlisch, CERTs Director. Project funding will put Minnesotans to work throughout 2016 by supporting technical assistance and labor services.

The 39 projects receiving grants are getting to work now in their communities and their efforts will be completed by the end of 2016. A complete list of funded projects by region with grant amounts and map of projects with grantee contact info can be accessed at

CERTs 2016 Seed Grants by Region


  • Hackensack, MN: Paws and Claws Animal Shelter – 40 kW Solar Array
  • Nisswa, MN: Lutheran Church of the Cross – 7.56 kW Ground-Mount PV System
  • Detroit Lakes, MN: Detroit Lakes Public Utilities – Community Solar Project
  • White Earth Reservation, MN: Honor the Earth – Pine Point Village Solar Thermal
  • Fergus Falls, MN: Lake Region Takes Root – Solar in the Garden


  • Chisago, MN: Chisago Lakes Chamber of Commerce – Chisago Lakes Area Hub
  • Hennepin County, MN: Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin – Community Solar for Community Action
  • Elk River, MN: City of Elk River – Elk River Fuel Efficient Fleet
  • Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light – Energy Efficiency Teams
  • Minneapolis, MN: Cleveland Neighborhood Association – Home Energy Efficiency Outreach for Underrepresented Residents
  • Minneapolis, MN: Tangletown Neighborhood Association – Small Business Rooftop Solar Assessments


  • Biwabik, MN: City of Biwabik – City Hall LED Retrofit
  • Chisholm, MN: Minnesota Discovery Center – Educational Solar PV Project
  • Cook County, MN: Cook County Local Energy Project – Energy Skills Share
  • Finland, MN: Friends of the Finland Community – LED Upgrades at the Clair Nelson Center
  • Orr, MN: Orr Recreation and Resource Center – Orr Center LED Exit, Emergency, and Security Lighting Project
  • Duluth, MN: Ecolibrium 3 – Giving Comfort at Home
  • Duluth, MN: Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, Arrowhead Regional Network (MNIPL ARN) – Youth Be the Spark in NE MN Faith Communities


  • Bemidji, MN: Voyageurs Expeditionary School – Keep the Lights Out, Energy Reduction
  • Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, and Mahnomen Counties, MN: Headwaters Regional Development Council – Northwest Clean Energy Financing
  • Red Lake Reservation, MN: Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians – Red Lake Charter School / Business Incubator
  • White Earth Reservation, MN: White Earth Land Recovery Project – Community Solar Install


  • Rochester, MN: Rochester EarthFest – 2016 Expo
  • Lake Crystal, MN: Lake Crystal Municipal Utility – Beat the Peak Program
  • Northfield, MN: St. Dominic Parish – Communicating our Progress on Energy Savings Project
  • Henderson, MN: Ney Nature Center – Harnessing the Power of the Sun


  • Slayton, MN: City of Slayton – City Entrance Sign Solar Panels
  • Slayton, MN: Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP) – Community Solar Gardens in SW Minnesota
  • Trimont, MN: City of Trimont – Community Building Heating and Cooling, LED Street Lights

West Central

  • Morris, MN: Pomme De Terre Foods Inc – Energy Efficiency Project
  • Morris, MN: City of Morris – Morris Model Clean Energy Hub
  • Hutchinson, MN: City of Hutchinson – Minnesota ENERGY STAR Challenge Implementation
  • Willmar, MN: Willmar Community Theatre – Upgrading Building Lighting

Multiple Regions

  • Northwest, Central and Southeast MN: AgInspire – Renewable Energy Education Kits
  • West Central, Southeast and Southwest MN: Region Nine Development Commission – Community Solar Garden Workshops

Funding for the grants is provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.

Details about funded projects and an interactive map with grantee contact info can be found at Past projects can be explored at

About CERTs: The Clean Energy Resource Teams—or CERTs—are a statewide partnership with a shared mission to connect individuals and their communities to the resources they need to identify and implement community-based clean energy projects. CERTs empowers communities and their members to adopt energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies and practices for their homes, businesses, and local institutions. CERTs is a partnership of the University of Minnesota Extension and Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Great Plains Institute, Southwest Regional Development Commission, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.

Full project details | Download release PDF | Download release Word

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    CERTs Partners:

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