ENERGIZED: Communities Building Minnesota's Clean Energy Future - A CERTs Documentary
ENERGIZED tells the story of the Minnesotans leading renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across the state. Join us on our journey to help build Minnesota’s clean energy future.
Maybe you’ve been wondering about ways that you can save energy and money at home or at your school, business, or organization.
Or perhaps you’re looking for success stories about Minnesotans like you that have become more energy efficient and are harnessing clean energy, while at the same time strengthening local economies and protecting the environment.
Look no further!
Running Time: 45 minutes
Highlighted communities and their efforts by chapter:
- Energy Efficiency & Education at Wolf Ridge ELC
- Pork & Plants Prairie Sustainable Bio-Energy Project
- Solar Thermal Heating & Fuel Poverty Reduction with RREAL
- Preserving the Historic Sleepy Eye Depot with Efficient Windows
- Growing Young Leaders at Willmar High School Greenhouse
- Home Energy Squad Helps Residents Save Big in St. Paul
- Students Pave Green Path with LEED Dorm at U of M Crookston
This documentary was made possible by our production partners, who volunteered hundreds of hours in the making of ENERGIZED (as well as all those named in the credits):
1. Energy Efficiency & Education at Wolf Ridge ELC
Wolf Ridge’s mission is to develop a citizenry that has the knowledge, skills, commitment, and motivation to work together for a quality environment. They’re an accredited residential environmental school in Finland, MN that immerses people of all ages in hands-on, direct experiences in nature. Wolf Ridge works on many projects aimed at energy sustainability, including science training for teachers, adding efficient chalkboard lighting, installing a solar water heating demonstration, and putting in a single box panel to heat the room. Wolf Ridge is part of the Northeast CERT region.
2. Pork & Plants Prairie Sustainable Bio-Energy Project
Look no further than the Pork & Plants farm and greenhouse outside of Altura, MN to find an example of Minnesota’s can-do spirit and entrepreneurship in the clean energy sector. Folks here are converting row crop farmland to native grass and cover for bio-energy production. The biomass is eventually harvested, pelletized on-farm, and used as a heating source for the greenhouses. Pork & Plants in Altura, MN and part of the Southeast CERT region.
3. Solar Thermal Heating & Fuel Poverty Reduction with RREAL
The Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) is striving to address rural poverty with solar heat, foster energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and break down the financial and informational barriers to the widespread use of solar energy. By manufacturing and installing state-of-the-art solar air heating systems with low-income families on federal energy assistance, RREAL endeavors to make solar energy accessible to people of all income levels. RREAL is part of the Central CERT region.
4. Preserving the Historic Sleepy Eye Depot with Efficient Windows
A lot of our small towns have great old buildings in disrepair, and it takes dedicated volunteers to rescue and restore these community treasures. Such an organization is the Sleepy Eye Preservation Group, a nonprofit that has been restoring Sleepy Eye’s 1902 C&W Railroad Depot since 1984. In 1990 the Sleepy Eye Area Historical Society was given the interior space rent-free to house, organize and to provide a well-maintained and much-visited museum. The building, which is on the National Register, got new efficient windows, increasing energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption, and lowering energy bills. The Preservation Group is part of the Southwest CERT region.
5. Growing Young Leaders at Willmar High School Greenhouse
Minnesota is full of inspiring stories about students, teachers and school administrators working to reduce energy costs and increase renewable energy. Willmar High School is such as example. Here, students, teachers, and volunteers have worked tirelessly to upgrade an ancient greenhouse to produce healthy, local foods for their school and community. The Willmar Community Greenhouse is a nonprofit endeavor begun by the Willmar High School Youth Energy Summit (YES!) team to bring various community groups together for the purpose of growing local produce year-round. Produce is donated to the local food shelf, and sold to the school district and local residents. Further, the greenhouse is heated primarily by solar and biomass-burning sources. Willmar High School is part of the West Central CERT region.
6. Home Energy Squad Helps Residents Save Big in St. Paul
Imagine you and your neighbors coming together to learn about money and energy savings tips and then having a personal home visit that helps implement energy-savings upgrades. That’s what’s happening in St. Paul! Metro CERT joined forces on the Home Energy Squad, a project being led in St. Paul by Neighborhood Energy Connection and Xcel Energy. The program demonstrates the effectiveness of low-cost measures and behavior change on residential energy use. Participants are recruited block-by-block to attend educational workshops amd sign up for home visits to identify and implement energy efficiency upgrades that enhance home comfort and energy efficiency. Home Energy Squad is part of the Metro CERT region.
7. Students Pave Green Path with LEED Dorm at U of M Crookston
Sustainability is a priority for the University of Minnesota at Crookston. Students helped lead the effort for Evergreen Hall to become the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified residence facility in the U of M system. The building’s construction focused on minimizing environmental impact and saving energy throughout its development and construction. Students worked with faculty and staff to help research and lead the projects. The projects included an inventory of building-to-building energy usage and creating an energy conservation competition in the dorms. U of M Crookston is part of the Northwest CERT region.
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