09/11/2013 - 1:20pm
Menards, one of the largest home improvement chains in the world, will begin selling SolarPod solar photovoltaic (PV) systems this month. SolarPod is manufactured by Mouli Engineering. Inc., a company based in Eagan, Minnesota.
“Menards has worked extensively in evaluating Mouli Engineering’s SolarPod products. SolarPod installations from Pennsylvania to California add significant confidence to us. Their approaches of simple design, affordable cost, and grow-as-you-go solar appeals to us and our customer base. Menards is always looking for innovative products such as the SolarPod to enhance our renewable energy market, improve the Menards brand and experience, and broaden our service to customers,” said Curt Carlson, Buyer at Menards in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
The SolarPod products are expected to sell through the Menards website at http://www....
09/11/2013 - 12:32pm
National Plug-In Vehicle Day is on Saturday, September 28th, and folks from the Twin Cities and beyond will be heading to the Capitol to see the cars and learn more. We caught up with Jukka Kukkonen, owner of PlugInConnect, LLC—an EV market and technologies consulting company in Minnesota—for the details and thoughts for those interested in owning a car. See the interview below, and click here to get event details.
Joel Haskard: What will people see if they come to the Twin Cities National Plug-In Vehicle Day on Saturday, September 28th at the State Capitol?
Jukka Kukkonen: Many people are now considering purchasing or leasing a plug-in vehicle (PEV), and this event is designed to give them a rare opportunity to see all the different models and colors and option combinations in one place. Attendees will also...
MN Dept. of Commerce
09/11/2013 - 11:38am
There are about 370,000 housing units within Minnesota’s rental multifamily building stock. Nearly three-quarters of these are located in the seven-county Twin Cities region.
For CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy, gas sales to the multifamily sector are greater than to any other commercial market sector, accounting for approximately 20 percent of gas sales. In the Twin Cities, building size is skewed toward the large end of the range, with structures having 20 or more units accounting for about 70 percent of the rental multifamily housing units. In Greater Minnesota, size is more evenly distributed with approximately a 50-50 split between housing units in buildings with 20 or more units and those with fewer than 20 units.
Addressing the multifamily sector is a key component to achieving the state’s annual 1.5 percent savings goal. In addition, delivering effective...
09/10/2013 - 10:49am
Minnesota Public Radio’s Ground Level project kicked off a new series on Making Energy Local this week. From the opening article: “Whether they want to be forward thinking, save money on energy or cut their greenhouse emissions, some Minnesota communities are trying different ways to generate power.”
Reporter Jennifer Vogel will be talking about what she’s found this afternoon on All Things Considered and reporters Dan Kraker and Stephanie Hemphill will be on the air Wednesday...
09/05/2013 - 11:13am
Monday, September 9 at 6:30pm Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association will be welcoming community members and interested Minnesotans to the dedication of their first Solar Community project. It will be at WH’s headquarter facilities at 6800 Electric Drive, Rockford, MN. You can click here for more about the event. We followed up with Wright-Hennepin to learn a little more about the project. Read the interview below!
Joel Haskard: Why did Wright-Hennepin pursue a community solar project?
Wright-Hennepin: WH was interested in starting a community solar project to bring renewable energy options to members. WH took a unique approach as we are the first community solar project in the nation to combine battery...
08/27/2013 - 4:24pm
High tunnels (also commonly referred to as polytunnels, hoop greenhouses, or hoophouses) are large, generally semi-circle-shaped structures made of polyethylene. Main benefits derived from using the tunnels include shelter from extreme weather and simultaneously being able to trap solar heat and retain warmth. From the fall of 2012 to spring of 2013, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) investigated not only high tunnels, but also their performance when paired with an open-loop-air recirculation heating system, and with a solar-powered furnace (SPF) heating system.
“High tunnels are an excellent tool for growing crops in cold weather,” explained Adam Kuthart, solar engineer at RREAL. He continued, “By capturing solar energy during the day and providing protection from wind, rain, and snow, high tunnels allow plants to grow for a longer portion of the year.”
A downfall to...
08/27/2013 - 3:51pm
Being an energy efficiency authority requires practicing what you preach—and that is exactly what Cook County is doing. In 2012, Cook County Higher Education and the Cook County Local Energy Project partnered to develop an energy efficiency education pilot project for contractors and homeowners in the community. But before they could teach anyone, they had to start at home.
The CCHE’s main facility, based out of a renovated church, was the pilot project’s first stop. A Building Performance Energy Audit (BPEA) using a blower door test (see below), as well as infrared camera imaging (see right), were conducted on the building. The results of the tests were then put to use. CCHE Executive Director Paula Sundet Wolf explained, “CCHE’s facility served as the home-...
08/26/2013 - 9:58am
Director and Instructor of the Center for Renewable Energy Education & Demonstration, Roger Aiken recently took some time to sit down with CERTs own Joel Haskard to talk about the Discovering Science on the Range in the Field of Energy (DSRFE) project, one of the statewide 2012-13 seed grant recipients. (The DSRFE group poses at the Duluth Seaway Port Authority in photo on right)
Joel Haskard: Tell us a bit about your project.
Roger Aiken: The overarching goal of our work with DSRFE is to provide science, mathematics and technical education teachers at the middle school and high school levels with STEM-rich energy content materials to enable them to become familiar with and direct their students towards careers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industry. It is all about jobs. Preparing today’s...
08/22/2013 - 4:42pm
The City of Hoffman, located in the West Central region of Minnesota, may be small in size, but they are looking at the big picture when it comes to energy efficiency. Following their mission statement “to take actions which stimulate the Hoffman Community to adapt and grow into the twenty-first century with economic prosperity and cultural vitality,” the city signed on to the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program in 2011.
The program encourages energy conservation and efficiency through upgrades to new and existing buildings in the community, positive behavior change on energy-related issues, and outreach to the community as a whole to spread knowledge of best practices. When cities join the GreenStep Cities program they are classified as a Step 1 City and can advance steps by implementing a number of best practices. It was through striving for Step 2 classification that the City of...