Thu, 04/18/2013 - 4:14pm
From Earth Day 2012 to Earth Day 2013, two Minnesota families and hundreds of their teammates have been competing in the Family Energy FACE-OFF to see who can save more energy.
This community-based energy competition was launched in a partnership between the Minnesota-based, Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) and the University of Minnesota Morris, Office of Sustainability.
The two teams are the Mill Pond Minimizers, led by Jeff Vetsch, Anne Dybsetter, and their children Henry (age 5) and Hazel (2) from New London, MN; and the Prairie Penny Pinchers, led by Troy, Jenn, and Ely (4) Goodnough from Morris, MN. The families are pitted against each other, taking actions to conserve energy and resources in their homes, and extending the competition to their communities and networks. Participants from across the country choose a family they want to join and then check off actions they...
Tue, 04/16/2013 - 1:00pm
The Minnesota Division of the Izaak Walton League awards a scholarship of up to $1,000 per year to assist students who enter or continue in an education program in Environmental Education, Environmental Law, Wildlife Management or some program whose primary focus is conservation of resources or environmental science.
Applicant must be a Minnesota resident.
Applicant must be a U.S. citizen.
Applicant must be at least in his/her second year of college.
Applicant must show a need for financial assistance and list other financial aid that he/she is receiving for the up coming school year.
Scholarship may b used for tuition, books and transportation to the school or program.
Completed application and transcript of previous year.
Written essay (limit to one typed page) on his/her philosophy of conservation and what the future holds for him...
Tue, 04/16/2013 - 10:18am
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now accepting applications from organizations interested in participating as a host site for the 2013-14 year of the Minnesota GreenCorps progam and up to 28 full time members with various host sites. 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.
Applications from eligible organizations interested in hosting Minnesota GreenCorps members are due by 5:00 pm on Monday May 6, 2013.
Eligible organizations include public entities (local, regional, state, tribal), school districts, not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 ( c )(3) nonprofit organizations. Organizations may apply for...
Mon, 04/15/2013 - 10:06pm
The 9th Annual Small Wind Conference will be held June 18 – 19 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center. This pivotal event brings together small wind installers, manufacturers, dealers and distributors, supply chain stakeholders, educators, public benefits program managers, site assessors and advocates, all working together to move the small wind industry forward. Organized by the Small Wind Conference, LLC, this gathering of small winds’ best minds and proponents is a source of continuing education and information as we collectively harness the wind to power homes, schools, farms, businesses, and now – transportation – a growing opportunity.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce is sponsoring the first ten Minnesotans to register for a workshop on Wind Monitoring, Performance Estimation and Production Monitoring presented by WES...
Mon, 04/15/2013 - 12:00pm
May 1st marks an exciting day for the clean energy community of Minnesota! The 2013 Energy for Defense II event will center on the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)—the world’s largest consumer and developer of power and energy solutions—and will showcase to the DoD the innovative energy solutions available in the Midwest region.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense of Operational Energy Policy & Programs, the Honorable Sharon Burke, will be the keynote presenter at the 2013 Energy for Defense II event. Accompanying Burke will be Minnesota Senator Al Franken (invited) who is Member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. The event also includes interactive sessions about operational and facilities’ energy needs, now and for the future.
This incredible event will not only feature powerful speakers, but will also provide a great opportunity...
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 12:19pm
Folks who attended the last session of the CERTs 2013 Conference gave themselves a unique challenge.
The Process: Dividing themselves into seven separate rooms according to their region of Minnesota, participants worked together for an intensive hour and a half to identify around five energy efficiency or renewable energy projects in their region that could potentially be implemented by the next CERTs Conference in February 2015.
The Projects: CERTs supports clean energy projects—energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects—that are in the public sphere (not policy). With this in mind, participants came up with a wide range of projects. Some of the ideas were broad and needed additional definition, others were fairly specific. Below are several examples from each region!
What’s Next? CERTs staff, steering...
Wed, 04/10/2013 - 12:18pm
Announcements, Announcements! Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are available for two interesting opportunities for clean energy service providers!
Deadline: The deadline for submitting both proposals is April 22, 2013.
Opportunity #1: Professional Engineering Services for Development of Standardized Tables Characterizing Residential Solar Installations RFP
The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is requesting proposals for technical services from qualified, licensed individuals or firms to complete a structural engineering analysis of residential rooftop solar energy systems to be placed on existing single and multiple family dwelling structures in Minnesota and to develop standard tables with the appropriate live and dead loads in accordance with the 2007 Minnesota Building Code. This project is intended to benefit existing residential dwellings where the...
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 11:30am
The city of Spicer, Minn. was being cost-conscious when city staff suggested to the City Council to move their administrative offices to unutilized space in the Dethlefs Center, a senior citizens building a few blocks away. City Administrator, Leslie Valiant, said that the south half of the Dethlefs Center was rarely used, and that by consolidating these two spaces the city would then be able to rent out the spaces formerly used as city offices.
Before the city could move its offices, some remodeling had to be done. Looking for other ways to save money, the city of Spicer applied for and received an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) that was distributed by the State of Minnesota’s Department of Commerce. The total amount of the grant was $15,898 with the city of Spicer providing equal matching funds.
The EECBG grant helped provide funding for three different...
Mon, 04/08/2013 - 10:16am
Reposted from Cleantechnica and Greentech Media with permission. Article by Shayle Kann.
Last month GTM Research published a report on the U.S. residential solar financing landscape. We undertook that research partly because we perceived a general lack of understanding of both who the residential third-party ownership (TPO) companies are and how they are differentiated. This article describes the key areas in which we classify those vendors and updates our ever-growing vendor taxonomy.
Prior to 2010, there were few residential TPO vendors. SolarCity and Sunrun pioneered the residential third-party financing...
Fri, 04/05/2013 - 1:31pm
There is a new kid on the block when it comes to biomass energy: torrefaction—the process of making biocoal out of biomass. Working to discover all of its advantages is Douglas G. Tiffany of the University of Minnesota and a team of partners. Currently, torrefied biomass boasts a reduction in greenhouse gasses by 85% per unit of energy substituted for coal. There is a lot to be excited about and a lot to learn. CERTs’ Co-Director, Joel Haskard, was able to interview Tiffany and get the inside scoop. Read on to see how torrefaction could be changing biomass efficiency forever!
Joel Haskard: Tell me about your recent project on torrefaction.
Douglas G. Tiffany: Over a year ago, I sought and received a grant from the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE) to investigate the economics of torrefaction, a process of making biocoal out of biomass. Collaborating with...