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Lake Region Electric Cooperative's Community Solar Garden Project
Dan Thiede
03/23/2015 - 4:50pm
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers, and they’re taking root in Minnesota. Here at CERTs we wanted to learn more about the experiences of subscribers in Minnesota and share them with others who are curious about community solar. Meet Jim and Carol: Jim Johnson serves on the Board of Directors of the Pelican Rapids Area Economic Development Corporation. Recently, he and his wife, Carol, decided to invest in the Lake Region Electric Cooperative’s solar garden because of their green values and their appreciation for home-grown energy projects. CERTs: Why did you decide to subscribe to the Lake Region Electric Cooperative community solar project? Jim & Carol: I decided to purchase a solar energy panel because I believe in self-sustaining...
Royalton YES! Team with their super mileage car
Brandi Kloss
03/23/2015 - 4:21pm
The Youth Energy Summit (YES!) empowers youth to partner with their community to create economic and environmental vitality through hands-on learning and team-based projects. CERTs has supported teams throughout the years with seed grants and technical assistance, and recently West Central Regional Coordinator Erin Smith and statewide Co-Director Joel Haskard met with school teams at their event at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. At the event Joel and Erin caught up with me (Royalton High School sophomore Brandi Kloss—I’m in the middle on the photo above) so I could share a little bit about our YES! team and our projects. Below is the interview! CERTs: What did your team do last year? Brandi Kloss: One of our projects was Royalton designed and built a super mileage car – winning the Minnesota...
Anna Carlson, Northwest CERT Coordinator, hails from Bemidji, MN
Lissa Pawlisch
03/23/2015 - 12:56pm
The Clean Energy Resource Teams are very pleased to announce the hiring of Anna Carlson as the new coordinator of our Northwest CERT. Anna is no stranger to the Clean Energy Resource Teams having served on the Northwest CERT Steering Committee for the past two years, but is super excited to be working with CERTs in her new capacity as the NW CERT Regional Coordinator. Anna was first introduced to CERTs in 2005 during her undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth where she worked with the NE CERT team to secure funding for Proctor High School’s wind turbine project. Inspired by her experience and the wonderful resources CERTs provides to local communities, she continued to connect with CERTs as she moved westward back to her home in Bemidji where she obtained her M.S. degree in Environmental Studies: Policy and Planning. Anna eventually went on to get her PhD in...
Lake Region Electric Cooperative's Community Solar Garden Project
Dan Thiede
03/22/2015 - 4:41pm
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers, and they’re taking root in Minnesota. Here at CERTs we wanted to learn more about the experiences of subscribers in Minnesota and share them with others who are curious about community solar. Meet Gary and Betty: Gary and Betty Dagen are both retired and live in Barnesville, MN. Based on their desire to reduce their environmental impact, they bought as much solar from the Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) as the community solar program would allow. CERTs: Why did you decide to subscribe to the Lake Region Electric Cooperative community solar project? Gary and Betty: We decided to lower our carbon footprint and solar panels at our home in the woods were not feasible. CERTs: What was the...
Small Business Project Press Event
Trevor Drake
02/25/2015 - 10:58am
Small businesses are often the anchors of a vibrant community. They’re the places we go to find unique experiences, delicious foods, and local knowledge. They also have a role to play in transforming our energy system and boosting the economy by implementing actions to save energy, reduce overhead costs, and grow their business. Metro CERT is working with the Lake Street Council, a business association in Minneapolis, to help small businesses do just that with generous funding from Wells Fargo’s “Environmental Solutions for Communities” program. On January 16th, 2015, Wells Fargo recognized the Small Business Energy Coaches project by presenting a $50,000 “big check” to the Great Plains Institute, the CERTs Partner that runs the Metro Region of CERTs, at a press event at Minneapolis City...
Tri-County Electric Cooperative Renewable Rays community solar garden
Dan Thiede
02/06/2015 - 4:06pm
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers, and they’re taking root in Minnesota. Here at CERTs we wanted to learn more about the experiences of subscribers in Minnesota and share them with others who are curious about community solar. Meet Douglas: Douglas Falch and his brother Denis of Winona, MN are now retired after working at the Winona Dairy Queen for many years. They found the community solar subscription process very straightforward and are happy with Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s management of the Renewable Rays community solar garden project. CERTs: Why did you decide to subscribe to the Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s Renewable Rays community solar project? Douglas: My brother Denis and I were...
Tri-County Electric Cooperative Renewable Rays community solar garden
Dan Thiede
02/06/2015 - 3:55pm
Community Solar Gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers, and they’re taking root in Minnesota. Here at CERTs we wanted to learn more about the experiences of subscribers in Minnesota and share them with others who are curious about community solar. Meet Christine and Tom: Christine and Tom Custer live in Brownsville, MN and are both wildlife biologists at the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in La Crosse, WI. They’re offsetting much of their average monthly electrical usage with the solar panels they purchased through Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s Renewable Rays community solar garden. CERTs: Why did you decide to subscribe to the Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s Renewable Rays community solar project?...
Metro CERT Clean Energy Accelerator
Trevor Drake
02/05/2015 - 3:47pm
Communities across Minnesota are looking to take action on clean energy projects, but sometimes knowing where to start, who to involve, and how to get from an idea to a completed project are steps that make the process seem daunting. Making those difficult steps easier, and getting through them faster, is the focus of the Clean Energy Accelerator, a new project of the Metro Clean Energy Resource Team (Metro CERT). Eight groups, listed below, have been selected to receive support from Metro CERT with their clean energy projects through the “Deep Assistance” track of the Clean Energy Accelerator. Community Solar Gardens: Community Solar Gardens have quickly become one of the hottest energy topics in Minnesota. Xcel Energy’s program received over 400 applications for solar...
Minneapolis skyline at night
Diana McKeown
02/04/2015 - 8:49am
The new Clean Energy Partnership Board in Minneapolis will hold its first meeting today, Wednesday February 4th. This first-of-its-kind City-utility partnership will have the City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its clean energy goals, including making energy more affordable and reliable for everyone while increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy. The first board meeting will be today from 2-4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 4, in the board room at the McKnight Foundation. The board members are Mayor Betsy Hodges, City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, City Council Member Kevin Reich and City Coordinator Spencer Cronk for the City of Minneapolis; Laura McCarten, regional vice president, and Lee Gabler, director of Demand-side Management and Renewable Operations for Xcel Energy; and Joe Vortherms, vice president of...
A screenshot from one of the videos, "Building Science is No BS"
Joel Haskard
02/02/2015 - 11:30am
You will be hard pressed to find a more dedicated bunch of folks working to build a clean energy future than the Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) based out of Grand Marais. Since 2008, this spunky band of volunteers have been working on a variety of clean energy projects. Of recent note is their comprehensive Cook County and Grand Marais Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Plan completed in 2012. Hoping to do more education around energy efficiency opportunities, CCLEP applied for a CERTs seed grant to help make a series of three educational videos. “The goal of using video to implement community energy efficiency is to grow a new energy efficiency paradigm: expand public awareness and knowledge about energy efficiency and mindful energy use,” notes...

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