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

Upcoming West Central Events

Eden Valley-Watkins High School installs solar panels and inverters

Recent Blog Posts

If your furnace looks like this it may be time for an upgrade
MN Dept. of Commerce
Wed, 09/21/2016 - 8:24am
As another Minnesota winter approaches, homeowners may be looking to replace an old, worn-out or inefficient heating system with a new high-efficiency model. Most furnaces have a useful life of 15-20 years, while most boilers will last 20-30 years. If your furnace or boiler is nearing the end of...
Community solar garden resources
Sarah Hayden Shaw
Tue, 09/20/2016 - 3:36pm
This past spring, thanks to support from the University of Minnesota’s Central Region Sustainable Development Partnership, Central CERT Coordinator Sarah Hayden Shaw had the opportunity to work with Connor Schaefer, a Masters student at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public...
Xcel Energy Partners in Energy Program
Peter Lindstrom
Tue, 09/20/2016 - 11:00am
What do people living and working in your community want in energy efficiency and sustainability? Communities can partner with Xcel Energy to identify and prioritize their energy needs. The utility provides tools and resources to develop a plan and then supports putting it into action. It’s...

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
  • Troy J. Goodnough, University of Minnesota Morris
  • Sonya Gylsen, Master Naturalist
  • Steve Nelson, Environmental Well & Septic
  • Yusef Orest, Agralite Electric Cooperative
  • 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