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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 built in Chisago County’s Center City. 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...
Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program opened to new applications on August 4
Stacey Pederson
08/05/2014 - 4:56pm
Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards program opened to new applications on August 4. The five-year, $5-million-a-year program will provide Xcel customers who install solar photovoltaic systems up to 20 kW with performance-based incentives paid annually for 10 years, with the incentive for 2014 set at 8 cents per kWh. The PV system must produce less than 120 percent of the customer’s annual energy use, based on the past 12 months of energy use. The performance-based incentive replaces the up-front rebate provided by the old Solar*Rewards program. Installers or customers must submit new Solar*Rewards applications through Xcel’s online application system. The application system is the same one that’s used for the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. More details on the Solar*Rewards program can...
MnTAP Intern Paul Senne at Schwing America (photo courtesy of MnTAP)
MN Dept. of Commerce
08/05/2014 - 3:49pm
A 2010 CARD Energy Conservation Market Analysis report authored by Minnesota Technical Assistance Program identified potential gas and electric savings of about 2,509,532 MCF (8%) and 271,488,000 kWh (7%) respectively in Minnesota’s industrial sector. MnTAP’s ongoing work in this sector has determined that key requirements for addressing these opportunities include raising the awareness about the specific opportunities in individual facilities along with targeted assistance to help those facilities overcome barriers to implementation. The goal of “Motivating Manufacturing Energy Efficiency,” a CARD grant awarded to MnTAP, is to demonstrate...
Applications are now being accepted for the FY 2015 Biomass Thermal Energy Grant Round
Lissa Pawlisch
08/05/2014 - 3:15pm
Applications are now being accepted for the FY 2015 Biomass Thermal Energy Grant Round. The Request for Proposals should be used for applications to this grant program. MAC Users: Please complete the form using Adobe Reader. Funding: $577,500 in funding has been allocated for this round of funding. Deadline: The deadline for submissions is October 3, 2014 at 4:00 PM. Please see the RFP document for details. Frequently Asked Questions: All questions regarding the RFP should preferably be submitted in writing to the grant administrator at kevin.hennessy@state.mn.us. If it is not possible to submit your question in writing, you may call 651-201-6223. All questions received, along with the answers to those...

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