West Central Region

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West Central CERT empowers communities and their members to adopt energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies and practices. Join us!

 
Goals:

  • Provide tools to spur community members to move from awareness to action
  • Proactively engage specific groups about energy efficiency opportunities
  • Strengthen support for youth-focused energy programming
  • Develop, document, and disseminate community demonstration models

Efforts:

  • Advancing community-based solar projects and models including community solar projects that work with local utilities, units of government and community members.
  • Working with communities on energy projects that enhance economic development opportunities.
  • Pursuing opportunities for LED lighting retrofits in business and for street lights.
  • Working with communities to understand how their resources, capacity, and interests can be aligned to advance on-the-ground projects.

Download a regional factsheet to learn more >>

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West Central Contact

Erin
Erin Smith
West Central CERT Coordinator, UMVRDC
Email, 320-289-1981 ×108

Eden Valley-Watkins High School installs solar panels and inverters

Recent Blog Posts

Made in Minnesota Solar Thermal Rebate Program
Joel Haskard
Fri, 03/27/2015 - 1:44pm
More Minnesotans will have access to affordable solar thermal systems after the Minnesota Department of Commerce announced that it will offer rebates beginning March 18 to residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities as part of its Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program. “Moving...
The Gibbs family installed a 39,840-watt PV solar system on the south side of a livestock barn
Dan Thiede
Thu, 03/26/2015 - 3:26pm
This article is republished from the original by Andrea Johnson, Assistant Editor of Farm and Ranch Guide. It’s time to consider solar power again.   Better technology and lower prices are making solar power in 2014 achievable and more affordable than in the past. Two types of solar...
Jake Jacobsen with his wind turbine
Alexis Troschinetz
Thu, 03/26/2015 - 3:06pm
Zoom around the Upper-Midwest (and linger a while in Minnesota!) to see excellent on-farm renewable energy projects. The potential uses and benefits of renewable energy to rural communities are huge. In fact, they’re already being realized as innovative people and organizations put ideas...

West Central Case Studies

Director and Instructor of the Center for Renewable Energy Education & Demonstration, Roger Aiken recently took some time to sit down with CERTs...
NEEDS PDF; TPD: March 18-24 The City of Paynesville sensed for some time that they needed to replace their Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning...
In 2009, the University of Delaware created a model that helps to more effectively provide communities with support and information about...

West Central Community Projects

These projects emerged from the 2013 CERTs Conference and are open to community involvement. Click on a project to learn more or see all projects statewide.

Create a model for utilizing brown-field sites for solar PV. Brown fields are limited in their...
Work with the Minnesota Street Market food cooperative in St. Joseph, Minnesota to improve the...
Develop a location on the University of Minnesota Morris Campus (possibly near the welcome center...
Work with a small community (less than 1,000) to reduce street lighting costs. By changing out...

West Central Steering Committee

  • Bob Bonawitz, UM West Central Regional Partnership Board & Willmar Utility Commission
  • Eric Buchanan, University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center
  • Kristi Fernholz, Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission
  • Jennifer Frost, Swift County RDA
  • Troy J. Goodnough, University of Minnesota Morris
  • Sonya Gylsen, Master Naturalist
  • Steve Nelson, Environmental Well & Septic
  • John Paulson, City of Hutchinson
  • Leroy Petersen, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission
  • Scott Randall, solar energy professional
  • Bob Ryan, European Energy Connections
  • Dan Tepfer, Kandiyohi Power Cooperative

West Central CERT Operating Procedures

Volunteer & Get Involved

Volunteer & Get Involved
Get involved and make connections with others passionate about clean energy! Learn more.

CERTs Supported Projects

See CERTs-supported projects
CERTs awards Seed Grants to community groups for energy efficiency and clean energy projects and we’re currently accepting applications! See projects or learn more about grants.

West Central Community Groups


Use our map of local community organizations to connect with a group in your part of the state! Explore map.

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More Resources for the West Central Region

 
Strategic Energy Plan: Each regional team spent considerable time mapping regional energy use and identifying clean energy opportunities in its Regional Strategic Energy Plan. Read all the details on the Regional Plans page.

Other Publications: