Wed, 07/16/2014 - 3:50pm
Did you know that Minnesota has an award-winning Solar Dream Team? It’s true! CERTs is helping a talented team of GIS professionals design an online mapping application for solar energy that will serve an array of stakeholders and the energy industry through the coming boom in solar—and they just won a national award for their efforts. Keep reading to get the full story and learn more.
Back in January of 2014, CERTs approached Len Kne with U-Spatial at the University of Minnesota—a group that provides support for spatial research—and asked if he had any students that would be interested in mapping the solar potential of the entire state of Minnesota. A week later Len got back to us and said, “I found a Dream Team of masters in GIS students, and they like your idea. They’d like to...
Thu, 07/10/2014 - 11:23am
We often receive questions from homeowners about how to get started with energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Recently a gentleman named Jim in Corcoran, MN reached out to us with a question on this topic, and we decided to share the answer with everyone in the hopes that it will help you, too.
I am a homeowner in Corcoran (Hennepin County). My family and I are very interested in learning more about energy alternatives for heating and cooling our residence. Last winter, we, like many others, took a big financial hit with the cost of propane; we’d like to reduce — or eliminate — our dependence on it. We are especially interested in a system that would include the integration of solar and geothermal. (And anything else you may suggest.) Can someone come out to our home and assess our energy needs, then make some recommendations to us?...
Thu, 06/05/2014 - 2:49pm
This article is reposted from the original by Camille LeFevre on The Line and MinnPost.
Solar power isn’t just for southern locales anymore. According to Aladdin Solar, LLP, one of the Twin Cities metro’s growing solar companies, Minnesota actually has the same or better “solar resources” than most of the southeastern and northeastern U.S., “with more ‘peak sun hours’ here (on an annual basis, 4.6 hours daily average) than Germany, the top solar market in the world.”
Back in 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy selected Minneapolis-St. Paul as one of its 25 Solar America Cities. The Twin Cities were chosen based on a competitive submittal that outlined plans “to build a sustainable solar infrastructure, streamline city-level regulations, and promote the adoption of mainstream solar technology among...
Wed, 06/04/2014 - 11:45am
Municipalities and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) are facing dramatic increases in rooftop solar permit applications. With this trend expected to continue and spread, streamlining building and electrical permitting processes will become increasingly important to more AHJs.
As part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability U.S.A. and IREC present a series of webinars on solar permitting and inspection. The series will review the components of rooftop solar permitting processes, and share best practices and tools for improving them.
These webinars are free, but you must register to attend. The upcoming webinars will be held on June 26 and August 27 from 1:00p-2:00pm CST.
These webinars will be targeted at municipal permit review staff and inspectors, but should be useful to a diverse...
Thu, 05/29/2014 - 3:59pm
The Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team (SE CERT) is pleased to announce its second round of Seed Grant awards in 2014 for community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
See below for a list of the four projects funded in Spring 2014. This is in addition to the 34 Seed Grant projects funded by CERTs across the state in 2014. Click here to see all of the projects.
Austin Utilities – Photovoltaic Electric Vehicle Public Charging Station
Austin, MN – Austin Utilities plans to install the first public electric vehicle charging station in the city. Combining the station with solar photovoltaic panels will not only help Austin Utilities with their conservation efforts, but also Riverland Community College’s solar installer program. The goals of the project are to supply a charging station for the public, provide a study for Austin Utilities on...
MN Dept. of Commerce
Tue, 05/20/2014 - 2:48pm
Are you on delivered fuels and looking for a way to supplement your winter heating needs? Or perhaps you’re just ready to transition to renewable energy? Solar thermal may be a good fit… and better yet there are rebates to help buy down the cost for those systems. Read on for details!
What’s the rebate? Solar thermal energy is a technology for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy (heat). A Made-In-Minnesota Rebate Program is available through the state for people who install solar thermal systems made by certified solar thermal system manufacturers and installed by a factory authorized solar thermal installer. For the purposes of the Made in Minnesota program, a “Solar Thermal System” means a flat plate or evacuated tube with a fixed orientation that collects the sun’s radiant energy and transfers it to a storage medium for distribution as energy to heat or...
Tue, 05/06/2014 - 10:00am
USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced that USDA is seeking applications from rural small businesses and agricultural producers for funding to make energy efficiency improvements or to install renewable energy systems.
“Developing renewable energy presents an enormous economic opportunity for rural America,” Landkamer said. “This funding will help rural small business owners, farmers and ranchers incorporate renewable energy and energy efficiency technology into their operations, create jobs and help America become more energy independent. When small rural businesses and farmers cut their energy costs with cleaner and more efficient energy, we are both helping their bottom lines and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that affects our climate.”
The funding announced today is being provided through USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program...
Fri, 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...
Wed, 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...
Laura Burrington - MRES
Tue, 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,...