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

Upcoming West Central Events

Eden Valley-Watkins High School installs solar panels and inverters

Recent Blog Posts

Map of community solar programs in Minnesota
Dan Thiede
Thu, 05/21/2015 - 4:04pm
Interest in community solar gardens has been exploding in recent months, and the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) has been busy keeping up with the demand for information and technical assistance. Minnesota has nearly two hundred utilities that can be categorized as investor-owned, cooperative...
Minnesota GreenCorps Program
Dan Thiede
Tue, 05/19/2015 - 10:55am
Minnesota GreenCorps is recruiting the next generation of environmental leaders… do you know someone who has what it takes? Minnesota GreenCorps helps communities across Minnesota prepare for a strong and resilient future by using environmental best practices that achieve results....
L to R: Laurel Johnston, Cavan Wagg, Patrick Huelman, Peter Schneider, and Collin Coltman
Sam Lounsbury
Wed, 05/13/2015 - 12:43pm
The University of Minnesota won the grand prize at the Second Annual Department of Energy Race to Zero Student Competition. The winning group, team OptiMN, was made up of fourteen students from four different colleges that beat out 27 other colleges from the United States and Canada for the top...

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: