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!

 
West Central Region Priority Areas:

  • Work with farmers and small rural businesses to educate them about opportunities around energy efficiency and renewable energy projects
  • Help farmers and rural businesses access funding for clean energy projects, including from existing resources like the USDA Renewable Energy for America Program(REAP) and Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
  • Foster closer connections with regional cooperative utilities and municipal utilities to help increase adoption of both energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Advance community solar gardens in and with communities across the West Central region and work with local cooperatives to reach new subscribers
  • Explore connections between planning and energy, including around specific efforts like prairie restoration

Download a regional factsheet to learn more >>

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West Central Contact

Kristi Fernholz
Kristi Fernholz
West Central CERT Coordinator, UMVRDC
Email, 320-289-1981 ×106

Eden Valley-Watkins High School installs solar panels and inverters

Recent Blog Posts

Touring the biomass-heated poultry barn at Viking Company
Fritz Ebinger
Mon, 05/22/2017 - 11:56am
On May 19, 2017, the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) and AURI (Agricultural Utilization Research Institute) hosted a group of 30 at Hillcrest Restaurant in Albany, MN to hear presentations on commercial biomass heating and then headed out to the nearby Viking Company farm for a demonstration...
Touring the solar array that powers the Hutchinson wastewater treatment plant
Kristi Fernholz
Fri, 05/19/2017 - 4:19pm
On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, over 20 people gathered at City Hall in Hutchinson, Minnesota, to take a driving and walking tour of the many clean energy and sustainability projects that the city has engaged in over the years. They were greeted by Mayor Gary Forcier, City Administrator Matt Jaunich...
Fully loaded power strip | Photo by Richard Drew, AP
Dan Thiede
Tue, 04/25/2017 - 12:39pm
Recently, Elizabeth Dunbar at Minnesota Public Radio published a story all about the rising energy use of our personal workstations—that mess of cords at your desk powering all of your stuff. Read on for an interesting analysis and useful tips for reducing your load! “Dual monitors,...

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 Steering Committee

  • Bob Bonawitz, UMN SW Regional Sustainable Development Partnership Board
  • Eric Buchanan, UMN West Central Research and Outreach Center
  • David Fluegel, UMN SW Regional Sustainable Development Partnership Director
  • Shelli-Kae Foster, Youth Energy Summit (YES!)
  • Troy J. Goodnough, University of Minnesota Morris
  • Sonya Gylsen, Master Naturalist
  • Erik Hatlestad, Clean Up the River Environment (CURE)
  • 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
  • Connie Schmoll, Kandiyohi County & Willmar Economic Development Commission
  • 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. 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:

Minnesotans building a clean energy future

         

    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission