04/23/2014 - 10:25am
Over 40 people gathered at WoodMaster / Northwest Manufacturing in Red Lake Falls Wednesday, April 16th to learn about biomass opportunities in the region and across Minnesota at an event organized by Northwest Clean Energy Resource Team (NW CERT).
“Biomass is a win-win-win-win: It is good for the economy, consumers, education and the environment,” said Tim Lutz, superintendent of Kelliher Public Schools. “It’s going to take vision and perseverance to make it happen.”
After noting that energy efficiency is the first step in developing a project, presenters spoke about the opportunities that biomass projects have for growing manufacturing jobs, using local and sustainable fuel sources, supporting the forest economies of rural communities and reducing the risk of wildfires...
04/18/2014 - 2:17pm
In support of the country’s goal of doubling renewable energy generation for a second time by 2020, the Energy Department announced yesterday $15 million to help communities develop multi-year solar plans to install affordable solar electricity for homes and businesses.
The United States continues to be a global leader in solar, with total U.S. solar energy installations reaching 13 gigawatts last year. As the cost of solar energy continues to decline, more states and local communities are deploying solar energy projects to meet their electricity needs.
“As part of the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, solar energy is helping families and businesses throughout the U.S. access affordable, clean renewable power,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz...
04/16/2014 - 4:02pm
The hometown of SPAM is getting serious about saving energy. Local government leaders from the City of Austin and Mower County came together Tuesday to talk about ways to reduce overall operations and maintenance budgets, reduce energy use, and install upgrades in public buildings with the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP).
Southeast CERT hosted a Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP) forum at the Jay C Hormel Nature Center in Austin Tuesday, April 15th. Community leaders came to hear a 30 minute presentation about GESP and on how to get started with the program. Then Peter Berger, GESP Program Manager from the Department of Commerce, joined the meeting via webinar to answer technical questions for an additional 30 minutes.
The Guaranteed Energy Savings Program or GESP is a state administered program to provide technical assistance on energy savings performance...
04/09/2014 - 4:50pm
The excitement of the Solar Powering Minnesota conference continues with the launch of the Power Pack Minnesota program!
Targeting communities in Minnesota Power territory and adjacent municipal and cooperative utilities, the Power Pack program will grow the solar PV market by:
Educating consumers about solar energy
Generating leads for solar PV installers and local businesses
Facilitating customer qualification
Partnering with community college programs
Who’s behind this effort? Power Pack Minnesota is a partnership between the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), Hibbing Community College and Kankakee Community College. It is made possible with support from the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams and the National...
04/09/2014 - 3:09pm
Patrick started volunteering for Metro CERT in March of 2014, assisting with planning workshops and events as well as keeping our communications databases up to date. He is looking forward to becoming even more involved with the organization as an intern.
Patrick graduated from St. John’s University in 2011 with a BA in Natural Science. After graduating, he moved to South Korea for two years to teach English and explore its distinctly unique culture. While in Korea he spent much of his free time hiking, traveling and learning to make many different kinds of Korean foods through friendships that are sure to last a lifetime. He was disappointed to be without a garden for the two years, but plans to make up for it now. This year he plans to grow the ingredients to make his own Kimchi, Korea’s signature dish.
Patrick returned stateside in the spring of 2013 to gain experience with...
04/09/2014 - 2:59pm
CERTs Co-Director Joel Haskard spoke with Xcel Energy’s Senior Product Portfolio Manager Steve Mudd to get an update on Xcel Energy’s Windsource program.
Joel Haskard: Tell me a little about the Windsource program and how it is doing in Minnesota to date.
Steve Mudd: Windsource is Xcel Energy’s leading voluntary green power program, enabling our customers to purchase renewable energy that’s generated in excess of the company’s other state mandates. We currently have 20 wind farms that are dedicated or semi-dedicated to supply the energy that our customers purchase. Over 33,000 Minnesota homes and 264 businesses purchased 170,185 MWh of renewable energy from Windsource in 2013.
In 2013, Windsource had two significant milestones:
We celebrated our 1 Billionth kilowatt-hour of sales in Minnesota. The feat was illustrated by a...
04/09/2014 - 12:12pm
Local governments and businesses are looking at options to make their operations more energy efficient. This Wednesday, leaders met at St. Cloud City Hall for the 2014 St. Cloud Area Green Forum. Alex Svejkovsky with radio station WJON covered the event and published a story!
Presentations were given by Saint Paul Port Authority and the Clean Energy Resource Teams about how businesses, non-profits, local governments, schools, and state agencies can become more energy efficient to save money. Both organizations have helped different private or public facilities in the St. Cloud area.
Peter Klein is the Vice President of Finance for Saint Paul Port Authority. He...
04/08/2014 - 2:35pm
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) is excited to announce the sites for 1st ever EcoMetro Sustainable Living Tour happening May 31st, 2014.
The EcoMetro tour will be highlighting eight very special sites that have worked hard to become beacons of sustainable living here in the Twin Cities Metro area. The tour features a diverse range of styles, from modest remodels to luxury living. The tour will satisfy the super techie in your family with innovative heat recovery systems, micro-inverters and battery back-up systems for photovoltaic systems.
EcoDEEP Remodel – Saint Paul, MN
Habitat for Humanity Net Zero House – Minneapolis, MN
Passive House in the Woods – Hudson, WI
The Tiny Diner – Minneapolis, MN
The Idea Farm – Afton, MN
Liberty Hill Farm – Shafer,...
04/08/2014 - 1:39pm
Solar panels, vegetation and buzzing bees could all appear on Southeast Como roofs this summer.
The Southeast Como Improvement Association received a $3,000 grant from Clean Energy Resource Teams, or CERTs, to survey all of the unused flat roof space in the neighborhood and Mid-City Industrial area and to gauge property owners’ interest in installing the three options on their roofs.
SECIA has partnered with Minnesota Community Solar and the Minnesota Green Roofs Council to act as a matchmaker between willing property owners and sustainable technologies. SECIA neighborhood coordinator Ricardo McCurley said the project began with a connection between the SECIA Environmental Committee and Minnesota Community Solar.
Click here to read the full article by Meara Cummings in the MN Daily...
04/04/2014 - 4:41pm
Finance upgrades in public buildings throughout your city utilizing the savings in wastewater treatment plant upgrades!
This webinar recording will teach you the basics behind Minnesota’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP). GESP is a state administered technical assistance program to finance upgrades in public buildings through energy performance contracting. More info at http://mncerts.org/gesp
About the Local Government Energy Action Series:
This effort tells the stories of Minnesota municipalities, counties, and schools and the tangible results of their energy-saving efforts to inspire others to take their own actions. See all stories in this series >>