11/25/2013 - 1:59pm
Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) members now have the opportunity to purchase part of the output from their newly-installed HQ Prairie solar project being built on the restored native prairie at LREC headquarters.
The HQ Prairie solar array consists of 96 solar panels with a combined capacity of 39.36 KW or 39,360 watts. The array is expected to produce about 1.1 million kWh of clean, renewable electricity over the next 20 years. Each module has a nameplate capacity of 410 watts and will produce an average of 588 kWhs of electricity each year.
A recent study found that some 80% of homes in America are unsuited to the installation of solar on-site due to shading, structural or ownership issues. LREC community solar provides a simple, affordable, low-risk way for LREC members to be part of the solar movement.
Members can purchase the output of either a half or full panel and...
11/22/2013 - 3:52pm
The development of community solar gardens is a potentially exciting opportunity that will allow individuals to join with others in their community to advance clean energy projects.
CERTs is working to develop materials and resources to help individuals and communities better understand what this opportunity does—and doesn’t—mean for them.
We’re asking you to participate in a survey so that we can better understand what your needs are to make informed decisions about this emerging solar arena. We hope you’ll help!
Your responses will be kept confidential and will not be associated with your name. If you agree to participate in this study, we will ask you to complete an online survey (linked to below) that should take approximately 10 minutes. Please review the consent language before agreeing to be in the study.
Of course, should you have any...
MN Dept. of Commerce
11/22/2013 - 3:14pm
The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced on Nov. 22 the 2014 incentive amounts for its 10-year, $15-million-a-year Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program, to launch Jan. 1 2014.
Made in Minnesota was one of several initiatives enacted by the 2013 Legislature to increase deployment of solar energy throughout the state. It will help achieve the state’s new solar electricity standard, which calls for 1.5 percent of electric sales from investor-owned utilities (Xcel Energy, Alliant Energy, Minnesota Power, and Otter Tail Power) to come from solar electricity by 2020.
The incentives for solar electric systems from the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be available to customers of investor-owned utilities who install solar electric, or solar photovoltaic (PV), systems using solar modules or collectors certified as manufactured in Minnesota. Modules from two Minnesota...
11/22/2013 - 2:25pm
There are a lot of great educational resources out there to help people understand their clean energy options, but often language barriers can get in the way. Now, for Spanish-language learners, there is a nice collection of clean energy resources available.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Carolyn Foundation, Do It Green! Minnesota is distributing a number of exciting new handouts on energy efficiency and renewable energy in Spanish!
Lista de Energía / Energy Checklist – a step-by-step list of easy tasks to do throughout the year to save energy
Alternativos de energía renovable en Minnesota / Renewable Energy Alternatives in Minnesota – two informative articles about the different types of renewable energy available in Minnesota
Preguntas de Energía / Energy Trivia Questions – good for...
11/21/2013 - 12:28pm
Nearly 30 people gathered at the historic Depot in Wadena Friday, Sept. 13th, to learn about heating alternatives for communities on delivered fuels at an event co-hosted by Central Clean Energy Resource Team (Central CERT) and University of Minnesota Extension.
Speakers gave presentations on energy efficiency (the cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use!), solar thermal air heat and hot water systems, biomass on the farm and for heating school districts, as well as combined solar biomass systems, and the latest research on biomass as a heating alternative.
The group was welcomed by Central CERT Coordinator Sarah Hayden and CERTs Co-Director Joel Haskard. Meeting attendees enjoyed tasty snacks of fresh fruit, muffins, and coffee, while networking and speaking with presenters one on one about projects.
To see the presentations:...
11/18/2013 - 5:18pm
Ever wonder what to do with the tangled mess of lights that marks the start of many Minnesotans holiday season? Ring in the holidays by getting rid of old, broken, inefficient light strands and upgrading to new, efficient LED holiday lights!
CERTs is partnering again with the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) for the 2013-2014 holiday season on Recycle Your Holidays™. RAM recycles every part of the light strings—the metal wires, the plastic casing, and even the lights themselves. We’re providing a map of drop-off locations that are accepting holiday lights, and it’s also possible for you to sign up as a location.
Click here to see map of drop-off locations >>
Click here to see our press release & spread the word >>
11/18/2013 - 7:58am
As cities look to improve services without increasing taxes, energy efficient public buildings are gaining traction. At the League of Minnesota Cities on Tuesday, November 12th, thirty people representing fifteen Minnesota cities attended a workshop on “Better Buildings: Measuring, Retrofitting, and Financing.” The event was the first in a series being organized by Metro CERT as part of the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program.
Attendees included staff from both current GreenStep Cities and others looking to join the program, such as Elko New Market, which is expecting to pass its city council resolution this month (passing a resolution is considered “Step 1” and is the only requirement for joining the program).
The workshop featured the following speakers and city...
11/08/2013 - 12:00pm
The Energy Service Coalition in Minnesota hosted a workshop for government, energy service company, and utility staff to talk about the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP), a technical and financial solution to install energy efficiency upgrades and renewable technologies in publicly owned buildings.
GESP utilizes energy performance contracting to identify, finance, and install energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy, with additional technical, financial, and contractual assistance by the Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources to help with the EPC process for the public sector, including local units of government.
The workshop addressed leveraging savings...
10/31/2013 - 8:00am
The first community-wide test of LED streetlights in Minnesota is already producing big energy savings for the city of West St. Paul.
The results could lead to lots of others making the same move.
“Other cities need to pay attention to this,’’ Mayor John Zanmiller said. “This is the way it’s going, and we’re fortunate that we were the test lab.’’
The light-emitting diode bulbs create a brighter and crisper illumination than the yellowish light put out by the high-pressure sodium streetlights widely in use, he said. “You used to see that dull yellow haze. Now it’s a crisp view of the street. When you get a nice snow on the ground, it just illuminates everything.’’
The Xcel Energy test in West St. Paul is the state’s largest installation of its kind and the first community-wide test, involving more than 500 lights.
Xcel is seeing significant energy savings, reduced service calls...
Mary LaLone - Xcel Energy
10/29/2013 - 3:15pm
Have you ever wondered why “fall cleaning” isn’t as popular as “spring cleaning?” With winter comes more time indoors and more indoor entertaining.
It seems the perfect time of year to be sure your home is cozy and buttoned up!
Here’s a checklist to help keep this season’s winter wonderland outside…
Move materials away from the furnace, especially flammable materials.
Check your pilot light. If it isn’t burning, follow the instructions for relighting which are typically printed on access doors. You can also find information on the manufacturer’s website—that’s where you should go to learn about maintenance requirements for your equipment. If you have difficulty, call a qualified heating contractor for advice.
Vacuum out any dust or debris in and around the unit, especially the blower. Replace the filter if needed...