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MN Dept. of Commerce
Wed, 02/10/2016 - 10:04am
The number of solar jobs in Minnesota more than doubled during the past two years and, thanks to solar-friendly state and federal policies, the job surge is expected to continue, according to the 2015 Minnesota Solar Jobs Census from The Solar Foundation, Minnesota Department of Commerce, and BW Research Partnership. The Census, compiled by The Solar Foundation and funded in part by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, reports that Minnesota added 1,131 solar workers between 2013 and 2015, a 131 percent increase. Nearly 2,000 Minnesotans are currently employed statewide in solar-related jobs that include manufacturing, sales and distribution, project development and installation. Solar employers project a 20 percent increase in solar workers for Minnesota in 2016. “This is fantastic news for Minnesota, and...
Fri, 02/05/2016 - 1:09pm
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications from organizations interested in participating as a host site for the 2016 – 2017 year of the Minnesota GreenCorps program. Applications from eligible organizations interested in hosting Minnesota GreenCorps members are due by 5:00 pm CDT on Friday, March 18, 2016. About: Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA, which places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a year of service addressing critical environmental issues, while gaining experience and learning valuable job skills. More Info: Host site application packets, including a detailed guidance document and the application are available on the Minnesota GreenCorps website. Please...
Thu, 02/04/2016 - 10:00am
What do people living and working in your community want in energy efficiency and sustainability? Communities can partner with Xcel Energy to identify and prioritize their energy needs. The utility provides tools and resources to develop a plan and then supports putting it into action. It’s called Partners in Energy. Xcel Energy launched the offering in 2014. So far, 11 communities have committed to the two-year energy planning platform. Residents, local businesses, city operations, and municipal leaders work together to create energy plans. It’s a coordinated effort that’s truly rooted in the local community. Watch a short video here. “We‘re excited to see...
Wed, 02/03/2016 - 12:05pm
The federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) were recently extended. Set to expire at the end of 2016, both will now continue to support clean energy in Minnesota for several years. We interviewed Mike Rothman, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce, to learn more about the importance of these tax credits to Minnesota and what the extension means for the industries in our state. As Commissioner, Rothman oversees the Department’s broad jurisdiction of more than 20 regulated industries. Rothman’s top priorities include consumer protection, a clean energy future, and strong financial and energy sectors for Minnesota’s economy. Can you describe the federal ITC and PTC and how they work? Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman: The ITC, which became...
Wed, 02/03/2016 - 10:22am
What is REEGP? The Renewable Energy Equipment Grant program (REEGP), provides Minnesota Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) providers grant funding to install renewable energy equipment in low-income households. The statute that appropriates these funds specifically calls for the installation of renewable energy equipment in households; however, historically, the state provided funds to help make heating systems more efficient (the first program retrofitted oil burning furnaces). In keeping with the original intent, REEGP was designed to provide supplemental heat through the installation of renewable energy technologies in eligible households under Minnesota’s WAP. Initially, solar air heating and high efficiency wood boilers were approved by REEGP as a direct source of supplemental heat. As solar photovoltaic and direct solar photovoltaic-thermal technology costs have...
Tue, 02/02/2016 - 5:06pm
SciTechsperience connects college students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines with paid internships that provide rewarding hands-on experience in small to mid-sized Minnesota businesses. Objectives: Develop Minnesota’s STEM workforce by providing hands-on learning opportunities to talented college students in dynamic Minnesota STEM industries. Keep talented STEM students in Minnesota after they graduate in order to strengthen and advance Minnesota’s knowledge-based economy. Benefits: Businesses receive a dollar-for-dollar cash match for up to 50% of the intern’s wages ($2,500 max), providing a low-cost solution for small and medium-sized companies that otherwise would not have access to qualified interns. Enables employers to find future employees, increase productivity and revitalize...
MN Dept. of Commerce
Mon, 02/01/2016 - 1:33pm
Taxpayers take note: If you made energy efficiency improvements to your home in 2015, or if you are planning upgrades in 2016, you may be eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $500. The Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit originally expired at the end of 2014. But Congress recently renewed the credit, making it retroactive to January 1, 2015, and extending it to December 31, 2016. As a result, any qualified equipment installed in 2015 or 2016 is eligible for the credit. It applies to energy efficiency improvements to weatherize existing homes as well as the purchase of high-efficiency heating, cooling and water-heating equipment. The maximum tax credit for all improvements made from 2011-2016 is $500. A taxpayer who has already claimed the full tax credit cannot apply for an additional credit. A few examples of what may qualify for the tax credit: Insulation...
Thu, 01/28/2016 - 3:35pm
Environmental Initiative is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Environmental Initiative Awards. This program annually honors projects that have achieved extraordinary environmental results by harnessing the power of partnership. Nominations for collaborative environmental projects will be accepted until Friday, February 19 in these six categories: Community Action Energy and Climate Environmental Education Food Stewardship Natural Resources Sustainable Business Finalists will be announced in March and winners will be revealed during an “Academy Award Style” ceremony on Thursday, May 26 at Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis. Nominate a project! ...
Wed, 01/06/2016 - 10:35am
The Clean Energy Resource Teams are excited to announce 39 Seed Grant awards to organizations in the seven Minnesota CERT regions. Each region awarded around $20,000 worth of grants, catalyzing energy efficiency and renewable energy across the state. CERTs has awarded over $1 million in Seed Grants to 269 projects since 2006. Continue reading to explore a map of projects and see details about each of the grants. To learn more about past funded projects, visit our CERTs Seed Grants page. New Opportunity: The Southwest CERT Region has seed grant funds still available that they are dedicating to focused project support. Click here to learn more about the SW Clean Energy Accelerator....
Mon, 01/04/2016 - 7:25am
For the Youth Energy Summit (YES!) program, the last few months of 2015 included two successful Fall Summits, welcoming two new YES! Coordinators, reconnecting with a YES! alumna, and more. Fall Summits a success The air was electric with the excitement of 240 students and coaches at the 8th annual Fall Summit, held at Saint John’s University on September 30th. This excitement was echoed two weeks later on October 14th as 76 students and coaches attended the 2nd annual Northeastern YES! Fall Summit at Laurentian Environmental Center. At both events staff from Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy gave the keynote address, educating students about climate change and encouraging the students to work together to mitigate the effects of climate change through their energy action projects. Energy conservation, waste reduction, and renewable energy experts...