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

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...

Recent Blog Posts

Community Solar survey
Lissa Pawlisch
Fri, 09/19/2014 - 4:08pm
You might remember seeing a survey in February asking a few questions about Community Solar Gardens (CSGs). CSGs are a way for Minnesotans to subscribe to a portion of a large solar project and receive credit on their energy bill for their portion of the project’s electricity production—just as...
EV event at the capitol
Joel Haskard
Thu, 09/18/2014 - 9:26am
The big National Drive Electric Week event is coming up this weekend—Sunday, September 21st from 1:00 to 4:00pm at the State Capitol Mall. To learn more about the event and electric vehicles (EVs) in general, we spoke with Matthew Blackner, Founder of ZEF Energy. Joel Haskard: Who...
MN GreenCorps
Alexis Troschinetz
Wed, 09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is currently accepting applications from individuals interested in AmeriCorps service with Minnesota GreenCorps for immediate placement during the 2014-2015 program year in the City of Maplewood. Help the City meet energy and sustainability goals by...

West Central Steering Committee

  • Jim Barbour, University of Minnesota Morris
  • 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
  • Nancy Strand, Milan Sustainable Energy Utility
  • 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: