CERTs Blog

MN Energy Stories Blog
Bringing you news about clean energy projects and opportunities happening across the state. Tell your story.

Get AnswersGet Answers
Stories to help you
get to the bottom of
your energy questions
  Local Government Energy ActionLocal Government Energy Action
Stories highlighting the
energy-saving efforts of
cities, counties & schools
  Subscribe to digest
Receive stories
in your inbox

Participants learn about LED lighting at Blue Lake Plastics in Sauk Centre
Joel Haskard
07/19/2016 - 1:16pm
On Thursday, July 14th, over 20 people gathered in Sauk Centre for a tour of LED lighting for businesses and farms. The town was bustling with Sinclair Lewis Days, but CERTs was there to geek out about energy efficient lighting! Starting at ElmerZ in Sauk Centre, guests learned about REAP, PACE, utility rebates and a variety of useful resources. William Little, Chief Technology Officer for LumenPros, gave an overview of LED technology and Paul Streitz, Founder & CEO of LumenPros not only gave an overview of the day’s tour but also showed people his trailer containing a solar-powered back up system (similar to what a diesel generator does) that can be used in case of emergencies. After a short tour of ElmerZ’s restaurant with owner Chris Zimmer,...
Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources
MN Dept. of Commerce
07/19/2016 - 11:18am
The purpose of the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) Grant Program is to identify new technologies, strategies, and program approaches that utilities can implement to help achieve the annual state energy conservation goal of 1.5% as established by the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. Results of recent projects (summarized below) could prove promising for effective utility programs. Motivating Manufacturing Energy Efficiency The goal of Motivating Manufacturing Energy Efficiency, a CARD grant awarded to the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) in 2013, was to demonstrate and carry out a potential CIP program strategy that integrates energy assessments and lean manufacturing tools into MnTAP-sponsored...
Wastewater treatment plant from above
Peter Lindstrom
07/19/2016 - 10:46am
Minnesota wastewater treatment plants can get help to achieve energy efficiency through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Wastewater Infrastructure Accelerator. The Minnesota Department of Commerce is a program partner and will help facilitate assistance for Minnesota plants. According to the DOE, “The Wastewater Infrastructure Accelerator will work over three years with state, regional, and local agencies that are engaging with water resource recovery facilities in their jurisdiction to accelerate a pathway toward a sustainable infrastructure of the future. The Accelerator aims to catalyze the adoption of innovative and best-practice approaches in data management, technologies, and financing for infrastructure improvement. Partners will seek to improve the energy efficiency of their...
USDA Rural Development Program Summary
Alexis Troschinetz
07/19/2016 - 10:24am
USDA Rural Development offers an array of programs to help improve the economy and quality of life in rural Minnesota. A new Program Summary guide offers an overview of all programs—it’s a must-read resource for learning about how your goals and projects could be supported. What exactly does USDA Rural Development do in Minnesota? Offer loans, grants and loan guarantees to support essential services such as housing, economic development, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure. Promote economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools. Offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations. Provide technical assistance to help...
40 Under 40 Awards Program from Midwest Energy News
Dan Thiede
07/18/2016 - 2:10pm
The 40 Under 40 award program from Midwest Energy News seeks to highlight emerging leaders throughout the region who are working to accelerate America’s transition to a clean energy economy. The program is open to innovators from all sectors—government, business, regulatory, academic, advocacy, and industry—and nominations will be accepted until 12:00pm CT on August 5th. Do you know a strong emerging leader who fits these criteria? Click here to nominate him or her today!   Looking back at Minnesota’s 2015 winners…   Becky Alexander, Designer & Researcher, LHB: With a Master of Science in Sustainable Design supplementing her professional architecture degree, Becky Alexander combines sustainable building...
30kw solar and 10kw wind on Jorgenson Hog Farm in Westbrook, MN
Annette Fiedler
07/14/2016 - 8:31am
With energy costs on the rise and the cost of solar PV coming down, farmers like Jim Jorgenson of Westbrook, MN are cashing in on renewable energy. This spring, Jorgenson added a 30kW solar array to the 10kW wind turbine he installed a couple years back. With a cash grant from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and a 30% Federal Tax Credit, the solar installer estimates that the solar array—which was made in the USA and has a 25 year warranty—will payback in just under four years. Learn more about the project in...
Waste Wise from Mn Chamber of Commerce
Lissa Pawlisch
07/14/2016 - 7:22am
The Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation Annual Leader Award honors businesses that have made significant strides toward environmentally sustainable business practices. Award winners are an exceptional group of committed organizations that serve as models of excellence in environmentally sustainable operations within their industry and community. Leader Award winners are chosen each year by a panel of judges that may include Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation Board of Directors and Minnesota Chamber of Commerce employees. Two awards will be given; one will be given to a for profit business and one to a non-profit organization or public entity. Winners will be honored at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce Business Conference and Annual Meeting on October 11, 2016 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Award winners will...
BJ Tersteeg receives a rebate from Chuck Heins, Superintendent of Redwood Falls Public Utilities
Keith Butcher - SMMPA
07/13/2016 - 4:03pm
Started in 1936 by Ed and Garnette Tersteeg, Tersteeg’s Market and Holiday Gas has been a cornerstone family business in the Redwood Falls community for 80 years. In 1967, Jim succeeded his father in ownership of the business. Their current location at 1111 East Bridge Street has been their base of operation since 1983 and employs over 130 people. This longevity has provided them the ability to make long-term investments in their facility to save energy and reduce overall operating costs. For assistance they turned to Redwood Falls Public Utilities to identify potential equipment upgrades and provide utility rebates. The partnership with Redwood Falls Public Utilities started many years ago with Jim and is continuing with the next generation as BJ, Jim’s...
National Community Solar Partnership
Dan Thiede
07/13/2016 - 9:42am
More than 80 people gathered in Minneapolis last month for the last of four regional workshops on community solar sponsored by the Department of Energy’s National Community Solar Partnership. A major thrust of DOE’s outreach efforts is to engage solar developers, clean energy advocates and policymakers on community solar issues, while also providing a forum for developers to share best practices and strategies for bringing solar to millions of Americans who lack the ability or means to install systems on their own rooftops. Among the core demographic groups embracing community solar, officials said, are urbanites, middle- and low-income residents who rent rather than own their rooftops, and millennials, who have a personal interest in technologies and market structures that advance the...
Anna Knott, owner of Knott's Corner Bar & Grill in Lucan
Joel Haskard
07/13/2016 - 9:04am
Folks in Redwood County might know Knott’s Corner Bar and Grill in the town of Lucan (pop. 191) for their delicious Buffalo Wings. What they might not know is that the business has become much more energy efficient and is saving energy dollars with the help of the Rural Minnesota Energy Board’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Not familiar with PACE? Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the buildings of commercial property owners. Energy-saving measures pursued by the owners receive project financing and are repaid as a separate item on their property tax assessment for a set period. After a couple years successfully running Knott’s Corner,...


Subscribe to MN Energy Stories Blog from CERTs

Minnesotans building a clean energy future


    CERTs Partners:

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