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

CERTs Community Solar Garden resources
Lissa Pawlisch
Tue, 12/16/2014 - 8:35pm
The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have been receiving questions from across Minnesota about Community Solar Gardens. During many of these conversations it became clear that communities needed resources they could use to help subscribers understand how community solar works and what they...
Site of the Gaylord community solar garden project by Mn Community Solar
Erin Smith
Tue, 12/16/2014 - 3:34pm
Erin Smith, West Central CERT Coordinator, chatted with David Wakely, Director of Communications of MN Community Solar, and other stakeholders about an exciting community solar project in Sibley County that is now accepting subscribers. The project, which was announced in late August 2014, will be...
Xcel Energy Solar*Rewards Community program
Frank Jossi
Tue, 12/16/2014 - 2:23pm
This story by Frank Jossi was originally published by Midwest Energy News. Last Friday, Minnesota’s largest utility began accepting applications for community solar garden projects. It’s anyone guess how many solar garden developers will submit on the first day of business for Xcel Energy‘s Solar...

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
  • 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: