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Join the CERTs team!
Maggie Kozak
09/02/2014 - 10:37am
Love energy efficiency, renewables, and helping others save money? Like to work with local units of government on helping them finance their clean energy projects? Then consider joining CERTs! We have a new position open—a Local Government Outreach Coordinator. Read on for more information. If you’re interested in applying, click here for more details. The application deadline is September 15, 2014, so apply now! Summary of Job Description: Over the past several years CERTs has worked to build its network with local units of government through efforts like Minnesota GreenStep Cities, developing a local government energy efficiency story series, and by promoting financing tools like the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP), Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), and Local Public Buildings...
The Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota Power will join forces to build a major solar energy project at Camp Ripley, the largest military base in Minnesota.
Stacey Pederson
08/27/2014 - 10:00am
The Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota Power will join forces to build a major solar energy project at Camp Ripley, the largest military base in Minnesota. The Minnesota National Guard and Duluth-based Minnesota Power today signed a memorandum of understanding outlining plans to build a 10-megawatt utility-scale solar energy array spanning 100 acres at Camp Ripley. The project will be the largest solar energy installation on any National Guard base in the country. Minnesota Power will also identify ways to help the Guard save 30 percent of its energy, and install backup generation for energy security at Camp Ripley. “The Minnesota National Guard and specifically Camp Ripley has been long looking for ways to increase our environmental stewardship. This signing marks a milestone along our path to making that vision a reality,” said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota...
Tour sites for 2014
Laura Burrington
08/20/2014 - 10:44am
October 4th, 2014 from 10am-4pm the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society will be hosting the Minnesota Renewable Energy Tour, which features 50+ exemplary homes, businesses, and institutions that have incorporated renewable energy systems into the design and operation of their buildings. From geothermal heat pumps using the earth as a huge thermal buffer to wind turbines elegantly spinning in the breeze, and the many incarnations of solar energy between earth and sky, this event offers Minnesotans an opportunity to find out how their neighbors are trimming their energy bills, increasing their energy independence, and taking steps to reduce their impact on the planet. This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in solar and other renewable energies to view installations and talk with home and building owners, builders, architects, and planners about their experiences. Join us...
The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced the incentive amounts for the 2015 Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program.
Dept. of Commerce
08/13/2014 - 9:08am
The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced on August 12, 2014, the incentive amounts for the second year (2015) of its 10-year, $15-million-a-year Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. The solar incentive program will be available to customers of investor-owned utilities (Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power) who install solar electric systems (PV) using solar modules certified as manufactured in Minnesota. PV Modules from two Minnesota companies—tenKsolar and Silicon Energy—have been certified for the program to date. Solar PV systems must be less than 40 kilowatts (kW) to qualify for incentives. Applications will be accepted annually between January 1- February 28 each year through 2023 and will be selected by lottery. Solar Energy Production Incentives The six criteria listed in the Made in Minnesota Solar Energy Production Incentive...
Eichten's organic cheese farm's soon to be 1 megawatt Community Solar Garden
Stacey Pederson
08/12/2014 - 2:00pm
Solar is becoming more and more popular among families and businesses interested in installing renewable energy projects in Minnesota, especially as new opportunities to participate are developed. Stacey Pederson, CERTs Communications Assistant, recently interviewed Eric Pasi of Innovative Power Systems to learn more about Eichten’s Organic Cheese Farm’s 1 megawatt community solar garden being that’s currently being built. What is a Community Solar Garden? For those unfamiliar with the concept, Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. You can click here to learn more. Stacey Pederson: Can you tell me a bit about Innovative Power Systems? Eric Pasi: IPS has been helping Minnesotans go solar since 1991; we’re a local electrical...
Brad enjoys making trips around the metro in his Mitsubishi MiEV!
Joel Haskard
08/11/2014 - 4:48pm
More and more electric vehicles (EVs) are entering the national marketplace and hitting Minnesota roads. CERTs is doing a series of interviews with EV drivers to learn about their experiences. Meet Brad: Brad Benn of Edina makes a lot of Metro area trips and always thought it would be a good idea to drive electric. He originally thought it seemed too expensive, but a big sale came up on a 2012 Mitsubishi MiEV with a large rebate and he took advantage of it. Joel Haskard: Why do you drive an EV? Brad Benn: I make a lot of Metro Area trips and always thought it would be a good idea. They seemed to be too expensive but a big sale came up with a large rebate and I took advantage of it. Joel: What do your friends and family think? Brad: They think it is very forward thinking (after first thinking it might be my new toy). My daughter uses it to go to work when we travel and leave...
Sam and his family love both their Tesla Model S and Chevy Volt!
Joel Haskard
08/11/2014 - 3:07pm
More and more electric vehicles (EVs) are entering the national marketplace and hitting Minnesota roads. CERTs is doing a series of interviews with EV drivers to learn about their experiences. Meet Sam & Fam: Blaine, MN residents Sam Villella and his wife both drive EVs because of their vehicle performance, the economy, and for fuel independence (and their daughters love them, too). They own a Tesla Model S and a Chevy Volt. Joel Haskard: Why do you drive an EV? Sam Villella: Performance, economy, fuel independence. Joel: What has been your driving experience so far? Sam: Awesome. I have my wife on board and have convinced many others. It is very liberating not having to go to the gas station. Joel: What do your friends and family think? Sam: Some really get it. Others just avoid it. Most are very interested. My kids don’t get why anybody would have an ICE (...
Susie Kukkonen loves her Leaf and thinks its fun to drive!
Joel Haskard
08/11/2014 - 2:54pm
More and more electric vehicles (EVs) are entering the national marketplace and hitting Minnesota roads. CERTs is doing a series of interviews with EV drivers to learn about their experiences. Meet Susie & Fam: Susie Kukkonen of Saint Paul drives an EV (Nissan Leaf 2012) because her husband works as an EV consultant and advocate—and because she loves it. Plus, they’re both concerned about the environment and wanted to find ways to reduce their impact. Joel Haskard: Why do you drive an EV? Susie Kukkonen: Because my husband works as an EV consultant and advocate, and we’re both concerned about the environment and wanted to find a way to shrink our impact on the environment. Joel: What do your friends and family think? Susie: They think it’s cool. Most people seem to be concerned about the range, because that’s always the first question I get...
Paul commutes from Brooklyn Park to Chaska, Monday thru Friday; he enjoys that his savings on fuel practically pay his monthly payment!
Joel Haskard
08/11/2014 - 2:51pm
More and more electric vehicles (EVs) are entering the national marketplace and hitting Minnesota roads. CERTs is doing a series of interviews with EV drivers to learn about their experiences. Meet Paul: Paul Wicklund of Brooklyn Park drives an EV (Nissan Leaf SV 2013) because he commutes Monday through Friday from Brooklyn Park to Chaska. He reports that his fuel costs are only $60.05 so far this year! That’s kicking gas, for sure. Joel Haskard: Why do you drive an EV? Paul Wicklund: I commute from Brooklyn Park to Chaska, Monday through Friday. This ranges from 60 to 70 miles round trip. I was using $60 to $75 per week in gas ($240-$300 per month). Since switching to an EV, my gas savings almost pays my $299 per month lease on the vehicle. I have put almost 7,000 miles on my car since January 1st, 2014. I pay an off peak electric rate of .03 cents per kWh. My fuel cost...
Example view of Minneapolis Solar Suitability Tool
Hannah Nesser
08/07/2014 - 3:06pm
The Minneapolis Solar Suitability map is a red, orange, yellow, and grey patchwork of the city’s rooftops. Click on a colored building, and a text box appears, stating “This building has good solar potential!” and an estimate of the total kilowatt-hours of solar energy that the surface could generate each year. Red, orange, or yellow buildings have sufficient solar insolation and space to install at least 1,000 watts of useful solar panels. Grey buildings are not suitable for solar photovoltaic systems, but few buildings fall into this category. Brendon Slotterback, Minneapolis’ Sustainability Program Coordinator and creator of the map, used methodology, data, and inspiration from the University of Minnesota’s Minnesota Solar Suitability App and from student...

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