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SE CERT tours Red Wing solar projects, including this carport at City Hall
Chris Meyer
10/26/2016 - 12:13pm
On September 26, over twenty five people joined the Southeast CERT tour of the City of Red Wing’s clean energy projects. Maintenance Shop: The tour began at Red Wing Public Works Maintenance Shop, where participants learned about Red Wing’s recycled waste oil from fleet vehicles used to partially heat the public works building, LED street lighting, and production of 87,800 kW/h from two solar arrays. The maintenance shop is net negative energy, as the electricity is provided by solar and they use waste oil from other projects to heat the shop. City Hall: Folks then carpooled downtown to see the solar installation over the City Hall Car Port, which not only generates power but has the added benefit of shading parked cars in the summer and providing cover from the snow in the winter. “People love it and try to get here early to park to the winter,” said Jay McCleary, retired Public...
Diana McKeown introduces Metro CERT Staff at Annual Event
Diana McKeown
10/26/2016 - 11:58am
Nearly 200 people attended the 9th annual Metro CERT event on October 18th at the University of St. Thomas for a two-part afternoon event followed by networking.   An energy-efficient venue: Elise Amel, psychology professor welcomed attendees to the Anderson Student Center, the first LEED certified project on the St. Thomas campus. The building is designed to reduce energy use by 17% beyond code requirements, attained in the following ways: Building insulation by thermal envelope High-performance windows and glazing Lighting and temperature controls Variable air volume controls Daylight sensors for light fixtures High-efficiency pumps, motors and fans Additional high-efficiency equipment 92% of all regularly occupied spaces have individual occupant electricity controls. In 2014 we added 96 photovoltaic panels manufactured by tenKsolar in...
Clean Energy Community Awards
MN Dept. of Commerce
10/25/2016 - 10:39am
Eight communities are receiving 2016 Minnesota Clean Energy Community Awards from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The program recognizes communities that contribute to the state’s clean energy goals by implementing programs, policies, and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy generation. The eight awardees and their clean energy efforts are summarized below.     Achievement Awards City of Hutchinson Clean Energy Generation: Capped Landfill Solar Development In November 2015, the City of Hutchinson completed construction of a 400 kW solar array constructed on a capped landfill. The array is the first of its kind in Minnesota and will be a model for ushering in the solar revolution in Minnesota while minimizing environmental impacts of solar arrays.   City of Minneapolis...
Project North Star in Minnesota receives funding from DOE SunShot Initiative
Dept. of Commerce
10/20/2016 - 4:08pm
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has been awarded a $2 million grant that will help realize Minnesota’s goal of generating 10 percent of its electricity from the sun by 2030. The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, is called “Project North Star: Illuminating the Way to PV Integration.” It will combine a stakeholder collaboration process with technical analysis to support Minnesota’s deployment of solar electricity, also known as photovoltaics (PV). “Diversifying Minnesota’s energy portfolio with additional solar electricity will create new economic opportunities for people across our state, while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels that hurt our health and environment,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “I thank the U.S. Department of Energy for providing the grant, and look forward to working with our Minnesota-based...
Working on a plane in the newly insulated AirCorps Aviation shop
Anna Carlson
10/13/2016 - 12:28pm
Bemidji’s AirCorps Aviation specializes in the restoration, maintenance, and rebuilding of vintage WWII aircraft. They’re now working from more comfortable, well-lit, and energy-efficient buildings thanks to lighting and insulation improvements financed with PACE. What is 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. PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing. To learn more about the project, we interviewed Sara Zimmerman, Business Coordinator at AirCorps Aviation.   What motivated you to apply for...
Minnesota GreenStep Cities
Katie Hosch
10/07/2016 - 12:53pm
On October, 5th, 2016 GreenStep Cities staff from across Minnesota gathered for the monthly workshop and webinar, this time to learn all about Energy, Data, and Action—Oh My! About 25 people attended the workshop in total, including those who attended in person and those who watched via webinar. Everyone who experienced the workshop had a great chance to listen to our presenters discuss a wide variety of topics.   Agenda & Presentations: B3 overview and what’s new – Cheri Schneider, The WeidtGroup Cheri Schneider from the Weidt Group, gave a presentation that covered the basics of B3 benchmarking and also discussed some of the new updates to B3. Download presentation B3 Operations Manual – Laura Millberg, MPCA and Katie Hosch, GPI Green Corps...
Holy Rosary students from Duluth plant pollinator habitat around solar installation at Laurentian Environmental Learning Center
Brian Bluhm
10/07/2016 - 12:02pm
Today, students from Holy Rosary School in Duluth made a positive difference in native northern eastern Minnesota habitats by planting common milkweed, wild bergamot, fragrant giant hyssop and lindleys aster around a new solar PV array at the Laurentian Environmental Learning Center near Mesabi, Minn. With everything in place, the enthusiastic students headed outside, shovels in hand, and made a positive difference on the local landscape. The new flowers are planted in their new home, helping to ensure a diverse future for northwoods pollinators. “I think it’s a great experience for kids to have hands on learning with current environmental issues,” said Kristian Jankofsky, Laurentian Center’s manager. “The kids were able to interact with their environment in a responsible way taking these...
Northeast CERT Coordinator Brian Bluhm
Joel Haskard
10/07/2016 - 10:08am
The Clean Energy Resource Teams is pleased to announce that Brian Bluhm has been hired as our new coordinator working with communities to advance clean energy across Northeastern Minnesota. Welcome, Brian! Brian is based at the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency. Brian has a B.A. in Anthropology and a M.Ed. in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Active in sustainability education for over 10 years, Brian is also the Executive Director for the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability and Coordinator of the Rutabaga Project to increase local and nutritious food access in NE MN. Please join us in welcoming Brian to the CERTs team and give him a call or email to introduce yourself! Brian Bluhm Northeast CERT Coordinator...
This year's Energy Home in the Minnesota State Fair Eco Experience building
MN Dept. of Commerce
10/06/2016 - 12:29pm
The Minnesota State Fair set an attendance record of 1,943,719 this year, and the Eco Experience likely set a record of its own as more than 260,000 passed through its doors. At the center of the Eco Experience was the Home Energy Exhibit, coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Commerce. Commerce partnered with Minnesota utilities, state agencies, energy businesses, and nonprofits to provide consumers with engaging displays and features. The State Fair afforded Commerce and its partners the opportunity to speak with thousands of Minnesotans about energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable energy. It was a chance to move people further on the path to making their homes more comfortable, efficient, and safe. Community solar garden display in the Eco Experience Energy Home exhibit. One of the many popular...
Midwest Energy News 40 Under 40 award program
Dan Thiede
10/05/2016 - 2:21pm
Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40 award program highlights emerging leaders throughout the region and their work in America’s transition to a clean energy economy. This year’s cohort of Midwest-based leaders and innovators from all sectors—industry, government, regulatory, business, academic, and advocacy—have just been announced. Below we’re highlighting the Minnesota winners, but you can click here to see all of them across the Midwest. Congrats!   Matthew AndersonVice President of Climate, National Audubon Society Matthew Anderson began as the Director of Audubon’s Climate Initiative in 2015. He joined Audubon in 2013 as the Executive Director of Audubon Minnesota. Anderson...


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