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CERTs staff getting silly at the conference
Dan Thiede
03/25/2015 - 4:10pm
On March 10-11, 550 Minnesotans from all over the state gathered in St. Cloud for the CERTs 2015 Conference to learn about successful energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, connect with peers, and get ready to take action in their communities. It was a great turnout, and it reflected the great excitement around the expansion of solar and other clean energy projects around the state, as well as the broad implementation of innovative energy efficiency projects. You can learn more about the event, download speaker presentations, and see photos from the conference at http://2015.mncerts.org. Or just scroll down to see photos and more! Stories about the event were featured in the St....
Midwest farm Energy Conference
Joel Haskard
03/25/2015 - 3:07pm
The Midwest Farm Energy Conference and Renewable Energy Tour is coming up in Morris, MN on June 17-19, 2015! To learn more we interviewed Michael Reese, Renewable Energy Director at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris. Joel Haskard, CERTs: Tell us a little bit about the Midwest Farm Energy Conference. Mike Reese: The Midwest Farm Energy Conference will showcase renewable energy and energy efficient technologies in a production agriculture setting. In addition to presentations on a wide variety of agriculture energy-related topics, attendees will tour innovative energy systems including solar electric, solar thermal, wind energy, and renewable hydrogen and ammonia production. This is an opportunity to see the systems in use, and learn about some...
Farmers gathered at dairy efficiency event at People's Coop
Alexis Troschinetz
03/23/2015 - 5:41pm
Over 40 people—most of them dairy farmers from southeast Minnesota—gathered at People’s Energy Cooperative in Oronoco on December 11th to learn about ways to save energy in dairy production and funding opportunities and rebates available. A Warm Welcome! The event was co-hosted by Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team (SE CERT) and People’s Energy Cooperative, but there were several other partners involved in personally inviting farmers to the lunch gathering, including: The Minnesota Project (TMP), Minnesota Milk Producers Association, Minnesota Dairy Herd Improvement Association, and University of Minnesota Extension. SE CERT Coordinator Michelle Palm kicked off the program by describing CERTs and the day’s agenda. After filling up plates with warm pulled beef brisket sandwiches, baked beans, and chocolate milk, attendees settled in to get to the learning part of the day...
Happy cows
Lauren Werner-Foley
03/23/2015 - 5:21pm
Nested in rural Zumbro Falls, MN, RS Farms is a small dairy operated by Kim and Richard Ryan. Behind the scenes of their milk production lays a longtime consideration of the energy that goes into the operation of their farm, and the desire that the energy leave less of an impact. The Ryan’s average electricity bills have reduced greatly since 2010, in a large part due to their efforts to decrease their use. But for a more in-depth picture of their electric use, they needed an energy audit for the farm. So in late 2012, CERTs helped fund this energy audit. Kim says that the results of the audit “confirmed the efforts we had been making and … encouraged us to move forward to help make the dairy sustainable into the future both financially and environmentally.” Of the audit’s eight total recommendations, five were found to be practical for the farm: Insulate the...
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...

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