CERTs Seed Grants Request for Proposals

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The Statewide Request for Proposals for CERTs 2014 Seed Grants is now closed, and the projects receiving grants are listed below.

However, the Clean Energy Accelerator, which provides non-financial assistance to projects in the Metro CERT region, is now open! Click here to learn more.

If you’d like to prepare for a future round by checking out past materials, click here.


CERTs 2014 Seed Grant Recipients

 
CERTs Seed Grants The Clean Energy Resource Teams are excited to announce the projects awarded Seed Grants in each of the seven Minnesota CERTs regions. Most regions awarded $20,000 worth of seed grants, catalyzing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across the state. The funding is provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources.

There were 34 seed grants awarded in total, across a broad spectrum of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Many projects also include components of education, outreach and community building, and research. Read on for all of the details! Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal.

Since 2006, CERTs has awarded $930,000 to 230 projects. To learn more about past funded projects, visit our CERTs-Supported Projects page.

Download a PDF with all projects >>


CENTRAL

 
Central Region Cass County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) – Backus and Longville Joint Small Cities Rehab Grant Request
Backus and Longville, MN – CCEDC seeks to advance rehabilitations of commercial buildings in Backus and Longville. CCEDC will do 10 units of energy efficiency improvements, for example installing new energy efficient furnaces and insulation, windows, doors and roofing. CCEDC will also conduct community wide educational presentations in Longville and Backus on the benefits of upgrading the energy efficiency of their commercial buildings. (Energy Efficiency: Low-Cost/ No-Cost Upgrades, Building Envelope, Behavioral Change, Insulation and Furnace; $2,700)

City of Detroit Lakes, Public Utilities – Washington Ave Street and Utility Rehab
Detroit Lakes, MN – In conjunction with infrastructure and aesthetic updates to Detroit Lakes’ main street corridor, the City of Detroit Lakes will be replacing twenty-six high-pressure sodium street lights with new LED street lights. This project will be highly visible to those who use Washington Ave (Detroit Lakes’ main street). An educational poster explaining LED lights and the associated savings will be put up in the City Administration building and displayed at public events. (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; $4,300)

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) – Renewable Energy/Sustainable Living Tour
Central Region, MN – A Renewable Energy/Sustainable Living Tour will help to eliminate the mystery and confusion that often still surrounds renewable energy installations and green living in general. Living in a sustainable way is not just for a certain group of people, it is for everyday people. The goal of the MRES tour is to give a “hands on” experience with working products and a friendly face-to-face conversation with someone who is an owner and user, not a salesperson, to increase confidence for people to make similar improvements at their own home or business. Every site will have at least one renewable energy technology to display. (Energy Efficiency (all); Renewable Energy (all); Additional Technologies; $1,500)

City of Royalton – City of Royalton Wind Project
Royalton, MN – SheerWind, Inc in collaboration with the City of Royalton will install 80kW of wind energy using SheerWind’s INVELOX technology. SheerWind’s INVELOX technology provides greater power output at reduced costs and can produce energy from wind speeds as low as 2mph. The City of Royalton has partnered with SheerWind to install INVELOX systems on city owned property to provide renewable power to local meters, reducing the cost of electricity incurred by the City and contributing to Royalton’s work as a Minnesota GreenStep City. As part of the project, SheerWind and the City of Royalton will share information and data collected about the INVELOX project with students, community members and CERTs. (Renewable Energy: Wind; $4,000)

Rural Renewable Energy Alliance – Toasty Turkeys
Rothsay, MN – Transpired air is a low-cost, effective solar technology designed for ventilation make-up air loads and offers the Minnesota turkey industry an opportunity to dramatically reduce and stabilize energy costs. Turkey production facilities have high ventilation make-up air loads and therefore high heating loads. Turkey production operations are often far from the natural gas grid and dependent on expensive delivered fuels. This project will partner with an independent turkey producer in Rothsay to illustrate the effectiveness of transpired air for turkey barns and potential for other agricultural sectors to benefit from similar applications. (Renewable Energy: Solar Air Heat; $5,000)

Small Wind Turbines, LLC – Small Wind Turbine Comparison Testing
Pine River, MN – In collaboration with Hunt Utilities Group (HUG), Small Wind Turbines, LLC will install and test a new 20kw wind turbine on the HUG campus and compare the kilowatt hour production from the existing 20kw turbine which has been on site for the past 7 years. The existing turbine is not producing to original expectations and this project aims to improve the performance by at least 50 percent by demonstrating the efficacy of the new direct drive small wind generator technology owned by Small Wind Turbines, LLC. (Renewable Energy: Wind; $2,500)

Download list of projects for this region >>


METRO

 
Metro Region Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) – Creating a Kingfield Community Solar Garden
Kingfield Neighborhood, Minneapolis, MN – KFNA has identified a location for a potential solar garden (a collective site for solar panels) in the Kingfield neighborhood and have been invited by the property owner to study the site’s feasibility and develop a concept plan. While conducting the study, KFNA wants to educate Kingfield neighbors, including Nicollet Square tenants, about Solar Gardens to encourage community buy-in on the concept. (Renewable Energy: Solar Electric; $3600)

Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), Lake Street Council & Seward Redesign – Energy Coaching Pilot
Minneapolis, MN – This partnership will pilot an Energy Coach training that has emerged from a Metro CERT Small Business Energy Task Force. Lake Street Council, LEDC, and Seward Redesign all have strong relationships with the business community. They will each leverage those relationships to increase awareness and utilization of existing energy resources. This project will serve as a model for how to train business association and Community Development Corporation (CDC) staff to launch and market energy programs and shepherd business owners through implementation. This grant will fund staff time for testing the Energy Coach model with 1-2 businesses each (3-6 total) through the implementation process. (Energy Efficiency (all): Renewable Energy: Solar Thermal Hot Water, Solar Electric; $5,400)

Richfield Housing & Redevelopment Authority – Home Energy Squad Enhanced Program: Latino Outreach
Richfield, MN – The Richfield Housing & Redevelopment Authority, Center for Energy and Environment and Neighborhood Development Alliance are partnering to develop an outreach plan to bring the Home Energy Squad Enhanced (HESE) Program to 50-75 Latino homeowners in Richfield. HESE is a residential energy-efficiency program that aims to reduce energy use and environmental impact through home energy visits that include the installation of low-cost materials, identification of other energy-saving opportunities, and follow-up assistance for homeowners undertaking major efficiency upgrades. Reaching out to the growing Latino community is an important component in reducing energy usage by households and an overall priority for the City. (Energy Efficiency (all); $4000)

South East Como Improvement Association (SECIA) – Putting SE Como Flat Roofs to Work
Minneapolis, MN – The Southeast Como neighborhood, north of the University of Minnesota, has a mix of residents, students, businesses, and industry. From above, it is a green swath of park space, trees, homes, and gardens sandwiched between industry to the north, east, and south. SECIA will explore the viability of the area’s flat roofs as rooftop gardens, green roofs, community solar host sites, wind source sites, etc. SECIA will work with neighborhood property owners to identify and recommend opportunities that can benefit the community with these sorts of projects. (Energy Efficiency: Low-Cost/ No-Cost Upgrades, Building Envelope, Green Roofs; Renewable Energy: Solar Electric, Wind; Additional Technologies: Community Gardens; $3,000)

Sustainable Resources Center – District 10 Home Energy Initiative
Como Neighborhood, St. Paul, MN – The Como Energy Team, residents of St. Paul Council District 10, is continuing its efforts on the Home Energy Initiative to educate residents about home energy efficiency. The Team will recruit 15 – 30 participant families interested in a detailed home energy audit and follow up education that will help homeowners understand how to make their homes more energy efficient. The Team is partnering with Sustainable Resources Center, a nonprofit with more than 35 years of experience creating energy efficient homes and with Cooperative Energy Futures, a member-owned cooperative, who will coordinate financing options and a bulk purchase of insulation. (Energy Efficiency (all) plus mechanical systems upgrades to improve indoor air quality; $4000)

Download list of projects for this region >>


NORTHEAST

 
Northeast Region City of Duluth – City of Duluth Site and Technical Assessments for Small Scale Solar Electric Projects
Duluth, MN – The City of Duluth’s solar PV project will provide site assessment and technical assessment phases for four or more small-scale solar electric system installations at small community park buildings, gardens, and public locations where energy use has already been or can be driven down to low levels through energy efficiency measures. During the project, the city will also seek funding partners, revenue resources and education-based partnerships to install the solar systems. Each installation will likely be less than 2.5 kW and will be used to achieve net zero or near net zero fossil fueled electric generation at each site. The solar PV installations will serve as displays for community information and education events to garner support for larger solar installations in the community. (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; Renewable Energy: Solar Electric; $3,000)

City of Tamarack – Dark Sky Compliant Street Lighting
Tamarack, MN – The City of Tamarack would like to change the 24 street lights in town to be dark sky compliant/friendly. In order to be dark sky friendly, the City will work with Lake Country Power to change out all the current lights and replace them with LED lights. This new energy efficient lighting will shine straight down and give off a white glow instead of shining up and out giving off an orange glow which causes light pollution. (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; $5,000)

Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) – Using Video & Print to Implement Community Energy Efficiency
Cook County, MN – Cook County Local Energy Project will implement a community-based energy action project using video and print to expand public awareness and knowledge about energy efficiency and mindful energy use. The goal is to inspire more citizens to take action. To enhance delivery, CCLEP will collaborate with Cook County Extension and numerous area organizations and businesses. This project builds on the successes of CCLEP’s Residential Energy Efficiency Program (REEP), a two-year pilot project in its second year, as well as CCLEP’s strong on-going collaborations with the city and county. (Energy Efficiency: Low-Cost/ No-Cost Upgrades, Behavioral Change, Building Envelope, Lighting Upgrades; $4,000)

Equilibrium3 – Media Outreach and Community Energy Engagement
Duluth & St. Louis County, MN – Ecolibrium3 is the lead agency for Duluth’s entry into the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition that will focus on measurable electric and natural gas reductions in the residential and municipal sectors from August 2014 to August 2016. To maximize community engagement and completed actions, a wide variety of audiences must be activated to take action. By imbedding a media intern with the Duluth Energy Efficiency Program staff, Ecolibrium3 will create targeted visual media materials to educate and inspire community members to lessen their energy usage at home and at work as part of this two year campaign. (Energy Efficiency: Low-Cost/ No-Cost Upgrades, Behavioral Change, Community Engagement; $4,000)

Hibbing Community College – Minnesota Power Pack Program
Hibbing, MN – The Power Pack is an innovative solar market development program first implemented in Milwaukee, WI as part of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot program. Through the program, that has now expanded into Illinois with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Illinois Green Economy Network (IGEN), the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) works with local partners to help home and business owners lower their electric bills with solar energy. Students enrolled in partnering solar training programs get field experience in solar site assessment. CERT Seed Grant funding will help bring this program into partnership with the Hibbing Community College (HCC) Solar Photovoltaic Technician training program with a geographic focus on Minnesota Power Territory. (Renewable Energy: Solar Electric; $4,000)

Download list of projects for this region >>


NORTHWEST

 
Northwest Region B-Well – Community Capacity Building in Sustainability: Rail River Folk School & Harmony Food Cooperative
Bemidji, MN – This energy auditing project will demonstrate the community partnership between Rail River Folk School and Harmony Foods Cooperative. It will also provide an educational opportunity for those who are considering alternative energy options. Each partner serves the community at large with separate business models but with the shared value of wanting to “give back” to the community by working on larger sustainability projects. This energy audit will be a first step of many in an overall planning effort to establish a local foods hub in Bemidji, with many partner organizations looking for ways to contribute to our community’s sustainability. (Energy Efficiency: Low-Cost/ No-Cost Upgrades, Behavior Change, Building Envelope; Renewable Energy: Solar Air Heat, Solar Thermal Hot Water, Solar Electric; Additional Technologies: Energy Storage; $1,875)

Center for Renewable Energy Education & Demonstration (CREED) – Discovering Science on the Range in the Field of Energy
Northwest Region, MN – This project is a cooperative effort involving the CREED Project, Hamline University Graduate School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Laurentian Environmental Center (LEC). The program is designed specifically for high/middle school teachers wishing to update their Minnesota Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy (EERE) industry knowledge and thereby encourage their students to choose a future career in this field. Teachers completing all assignments for the two years earn twelve graduate credits and an Energy Education Certificate. (Energy Efficiency (all); Renewable Energy (all); Additional Technologies (all); $500)

City of Warren – Godel Library Energy Improvements
Warren, MN – The City of Warren owns the Godel Library building which is in need of added wall insulation to help control heating costs. The library was built in the early 1970’s and has very little insulation in the walls. The goal of the project is to decrease the operating costs of the heating, cooling and lighting of the building. The community is engaged in this project; this project has been discussed in Godel Library’s board meetings, the City of Warren’s city council meetings and Marshall County Commissioner meetings along with the Warren Lions Club. (Energy Efficiency: Building Envelope, Insulate inside walls of the library; $2,500)

Conservation Corps Minnesota – Renewable Energy Outreach Project
Northwest Region, MN – Conservation Corps Minnesota is collaborating with the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance to sponsor an apprenticeship in renewable energy outreach and solar technologies. The Solar Heat Outreach Specialist will gain knowledge in renewable energy applications and will educate community service organizations and homeowners on the benefits of solar heat and funding programs that are available to address energy poverty. By harnessing BTUs from the sun, solar thermal systems reduce heat-related energy consumption from conventional sources by 25 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The project’s long-range goal is to expand the renewable energy infrastructure in Northwest Minnesota. (Renewable Energy: Solar Air Heat, Solar Thermal Hot Water, Solar Electric; $7,000)

Headwaters Regional Development Commission – Understanding Demand for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Financing
Beltrami County, MN – The Headwaters RDC and the Sustainability Office at Bemidji State University (BSU) will identify and understand renewable energy and energy efficiency financing needs in the Bemidji region. They will partner with the Marketing Assistance and Research Solutions program at BSU to survey the community. The information collected will be used to focus on financing tools for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Project results can be used to assist other communities looking to finance energy projects. (Energy Efficiency (all); Renewable Energy (all); $3,000)

Northwest Research & Outreach Center, University of Minnesota, Crookston – Cattails as Biofuel – Homegrown solutions to sustainable energy at the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge
Crookston, MN – Minnesota has no fossil fuel resources but we do have various biofuel alternatives from forests, brushlands, croplands, and wetlands (natural and constructed). This project proposes to demonstrate the use of cattail biofuel as a heat source at the headquarters of the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge where excessive cattail growth is choking out many of the restored shallow wetlands of the “largest wetland and prairie restoration project in North America.” Cattails have energy values similar to wood pellets, though cooperative demonstrations are needed to evaluate working applications of this novel biofuel source. (Renewable Energy: Biomass; $1,125)

White Earth Land Recovery Project – White Earth Solar Thermal Install & Training
White Earth Reservation, MN – White Earth Land Recovery Project will install ten solar thermal units on tribal homes on and near the reservation. They will use this as a training program which can be shared with tribal communities in northwestern Minnesota, and potentially leverage support from the University of Minnesota at Morris and Minnesota State University at Moorhead. The White Earth tribal community suffers from rampant fuel poverty; one quarter of the tribal income is spent on energy, and since the community has the poorest county in the state of Minnesota, it is critical to address this through two mechanisms: efficiency and local control over energy. This project integrates valuable green job skills training for tribal members and heating cost relief for residents. (Renewable Energy: Solar Air Heat; $4,000)

Download list of projects for this region >>


SOUTHEAST

 
Southeast Region Center for Renewable Energy Education & Demonstration (CREED) – Discovering Science on the Range in the Field of Energy
Southeast Region, MN – This project is a cooperative effort involving the CREED Project, Hamline University Graduate School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Laurentian Environmental Center (LEC). The program is designed specifically for high/middle school teachers wishing to update their Minnesota Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy (EERE) industry knowledge and thereby encourage their students to choose a future career in this field. Teachers completing all assignments for the two years earn twelve graduate credits and an Energy Education Certificate. (Energy Efficiency (all); Renewable Energy (all); Additional Technologies (all); $1,000)

Greater Northfield Sustainability Collaborative (GNSC) – Online Project Repository
Rice County, MN – GNSC will utilize seed grant funds to hire a web developer to develop a searchable project database for the Greater Northfield Sustainability Collaborative website (www.northfieldsustainability.org). The project repository will be a shared resource that aims to coordinate efforts to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainability projects among Carleton College, St. Olaf College, non-profit organizations, the Northfield City Council, and other government bodies. Organizations seeking volunteers will use the site to publicize their projects; college faculty, students, and community members will use the site to discover opportunities for civic engagement projects. The site will also serve as an archive for completed research. (Energy Efficiency: Renewable Energy: Additional Technologies: Food systems, EV Charging, Composting/Recycling; $3,000)

Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) – Renewable Energy/Sustainable Living Tour
Southeast Region, MN – A Renewable Energy/Sustainable Living Tour will help to eliminate the mystery and confusion that often still surrounds renewable energy installations and green living in general. Living in a sustainable way is not just for a certain group of people, it is for everyday people. The goal of the MRES tour is to give a “hands on” experience with working products and a friendly face-to-face conversation with someone who is an owner and user, not a salesperson, to increase confidence for people to make similar improvements at their own home or business. Every site will have at least one renewable energy technology to display. (Energy Efficiency (all); Renewable Energy (all); Additional Technologies; $1,500)

Region Nine Economic Development Commission (RNDC) – Community Renewable Energy Planning Project
Amboy & Kiester, MN – This project will educate and advise Region 9 community organizations to develop installation strategies for energy efficiency and renewable energy at community owned facilities. RNDC has been approached by two community organizations that plan to build/renovate a community center. Their strategic plan will attract growth and reverse the economic trend of decline in rural towns. For these two communities, a major outcome of this project is to work through a process to develop the implementation of a community solar installation. What will be key in the two communities is to create a structure that enables pursuit of tax credits, renewable energy credits, and community ownership. (Energy Efficiency (all): Renewable Energy (all): Additional Technologies: Geothermal, Energy Storage; $4,000)

Rochester Olmsted Planning Department – Rochester Energy Awareness & Involvement Campaign
Rochester, MN –The Rochester City Council established the Energy Commission, charging them with the task of developing an Energy Action Plan (EAP) for the Council to pass. For such a Plan to be created and passed, the community must know of the effort, see its benefits, engage in the process, and support the final product. This proposal helps make this possible by funding the production of an informative 3-fold brochure, the writing of a series of pieces of various lengths for various audiences, and the strategic placement of these pieces in established print and electronic media outlets throughout the community. (Energy Efficiency: Behavior Change, Education; Additional Technologies: Social Engagement, Help Develop Energy Action Plan; $3,000)

Austin Utilities – Photovoltaic Electric Vehicle Public Charging Station
Austin, MN – Austin Utilities plans to install the first public electric vehicle charging station in the city. Combining the station with solar photovoltaic panels will not only help Austin Utilities with their conservation efforts, but also Riverland Community College’s solar installer program. The goals of the project are to supply a charging station for the public, provide a study for Austin Utilities on how the electric charging station impacts the system, and provide additional training for those in the solar installer program at Riverland. (Renewable Energy: Solar Electric; Additional Technologies: Electric Vehicle Charging; $2,000)

Sustain Winona Partnership – Winona “Community” Community Solar Initiative
Winona, MN – A subset of Sustain Winona, the Community Solar Technical Committee, is researching and developing best practices for implementing a community-led, community solar project. The committee will engage legal and financial consulting services to develop models that maximize the involvement of local citizens and institutions, such as municipalities and non-profits. They also plan to educate potential subscribers about energy efficiency and would have assessments done so subscribers would decrease their energy usage. The end goal is to have a 1 MW community solar project in Xcel’s service territory. (Energy Efficiency: lost-cost/no-cost upgrades, behavior change; Renewable Energy: Solar Electric; $3,500)

Ridgeway Community School – Cost-effective Lighting Upgrades and Energy Conservation Practices Project
Pleasant Hill Township, Winona Co., MN – Ridgeway Community School aims to upgrade lighting fixtures in the school and educate local students, homeowners, farmers, businesses, schools, and non-profit organizations about different cost-effective technologies and energy conservation practices to lower energy usage. Specifically, they want to focus on lighting and other low-cost/no-cost upgrades that they will develop into curriculum materials. They also plan to host several informative school open houses. (Energy Efficiency: low-cost/no-cost upgrades, behavior change, lighting upgrades; $1,500)

RE-fest/Austin Utilities – RE-Fest: A Celebration of Green Living & Clean Energy
Austin, MN – RE-fest, an annual event hosted in Austin, this year – on September 20th – focuses on education the community about the positive impact individuals can have on the environment. The event provides educational and entertainment opportunities about green living and clean energy, as well as opportunities for local vendors to sell their goods. The RE-fest team, a collaboration of individuals from Austin Utilities, J.C. Hormel Nature Center, and Riverland Community College, with support from Owatonna Public Utilities and Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, hope to expand their outreach this year and reach more folks in Southeastern Minnesota and Northern Iowa to help educate them on efficiency opportunities. (Energy Efficiency: low-cost/no-cost upgrades, behavior change, building envelope, lighting upgrades; Renewable Energy: solar electric, wind; Additional Technologies: geothermal; $500)

Download list of projects for this region >>


SOUTHWEST

 
Southwest Region City of Slayton – Broadway Ave. LED Street Lighting Retrofits
Slayton, MN – The City of Slayton currently owns twenty-five 250-watt High Pressure Sodium cobra head style street lights on Broadway Avenue, the City’s central business district and also contains residential housing units. The City of Slayton is working to replace Broadway Avenue’s street lights with twenty-five 55-watt LED retrofitted units to reduce energy use and energy costs and to increase energy efficiency while simultaneously increasing safety and security for Slayton’s Downtown pedestrians and businesses. (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; $2,000)

Christ Lutheran Church – Window Replacement Project
Slayton, MN – The Church members will replace 15 of the original 25 windows with energy efficient windows. This project will be shared with and described to others by including church members in the project. Volunteer members will learn from a contractor and then help with the work, thereby learning or refining a skill set transferable to similar projects at home or elsewhere in the community. The entire congregation will learn from this process and benefit from the energy savings provided by the new windows. (Energy Efficiency: window replacement; $5,000)

City of Russell – LED Street Lighting Project
Russell, Arco, and Lynd, MN – Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative, Inc. will replace a number of existing mercury vapor and high pressure sodium street lights with LED lights to reduce energy use by the cities of Russell, Arco and Lynd. Lyon-Lincoln Electric Cooperative will study the results of the project and share that information with its nearly 4,000 utility members and through energy education programs at area schools. (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; $8,600)

Red Rock Central School District – Community Auditorium LED Lighting Project
Lamberton, MN – The school district auditorium stage lighting fixtures will be retrofitted with energy efficient LED lighting. The auditorium is used by area communities for events such as dance recitals and community fundraiser rummage sales (this year’s will benefit the auditorium’s LED lighting upgrade). (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; $4,400)

Download list of projects for this region >>


WEST CENTRAL

 
West Central Region Bonnie’s Hometown Grocery Store – Saving Energy to Save Our Hometown Grocery Store
Clinton, MN – Bonnie’s Hometown Grocery is located in a western Minnesota, USDA designated, rural food desert. Electricity is among the largest operating costs. With broad community support, Bonnie’s seeks to replace the old freezers, installed in 1979, with new Energy Star freezers. These freezers would save 38% of current energy usage, saving 59,000 kWh per year and lowering the grocery store’s energy bills. (Energy Efficiency; $5,000)

Center for Renewable Energy Education & Demonstration (CREED) – Discovering Science on the Range in the Field of Energy
West Central Region, MN – This project is a cooperative effort involving the CREED Project, Hamline University Graduate School’s Department of Continuing Education and the Laurentian Environmental Center (LEC). The program is designed specifically for high/middle school teachers wishing to update their Minnesota Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy (EERE) industry knowledge and thereby encourage their students to choose a future career in this field. Teachers completing all assignments for the two years earn twelve graduate credits and an Energy Education Certificate. (Energy Efficiency (all); Renewable Energy (all); Additional Technologies (all); $500)

City of Brownton – Street Lighting Upgrades
Brownton, MN – The goal of this project is to upgrade streetlights and poles to replace inefficient street lights, conserve energy, and share the results with others. (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; $4,000)

Madison, Marietta, Nassau Elementary School Lighting Retrofit Project
Madison, MN – The Madison, Marietta, Nassau Elementary School needs to upgrade the lighting in its Gymnasiums and replace the exit lighting to more efficient LED lights. The school will also be working with the City of Madison Bright Energy Solutions to pilot an energy saving education program for the 4th grade class this school year. This project will showcase energy savings as a real world example to those students. (Energy Efficiency: Lighting Upgrades; $5,500)

New London-Spicer High School’s Agriculture Department – Solar Active Greenhouse and Wind Turbine
New London, MN – The New London-Spicer High School’s Agriculture Department, with the help of several key supporters, is working to build a solar active greenhouse and install an adjacent small wind turbine. This highly visible project will showcase several types of clean energy uses. It will use the sun to heat the greenhouse through an in-ground heat storage system and will use the wind turbine to power its electrical equipment. This project will serve as a powerful educational tool for the school and the larger community demonstrating the practical viability of renewable energy resources. Data from the wind turbine will be collected and made public so others can track the kilowatt-hours produced by the system. (Energy Efficiency: Low-Cost/ No-Cost Upgrades, Behavior Change; Renewable Energy: Solar Air Heat, Wind; Additional Technologies: Geothermal, Energy Storage; $5,000)

Download list of projects for this region >>


Past CERTs Seed Grant RFP Materials for Planning Purposes

CERTs Seed Grants
Contents:

 



Request for Proposals (RFP)

Review the Official RFP The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) seeks applications for limited financial assistance for energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects requiring technical assistance.

Project funding can support technical assistance services (i.e., labor costs only, such as for a consultant, design professional, installer, or student labor) for projects in seven Minnesota CERT regions: Central, Metro, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and West Central.

The primary objectives of this funding are to:

  • Encourage the implementation of community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota
  • Provide a forum for community education about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and their economic, ecological, and community benefits

Review the Official RFP to learn more >>



Application Form

Download the Application Download the Application: To download CERT Seed Grant Application Form for the 2012-2013 round of funding, please click here to provide your name and email address and then click “Next”. You will then be able to download the document. We’re collecting your email address so that we can follow up with you regarding any updates to the seed grant application process.

Applying to Multiple Regions? A single project may apply for funding from more than one region if it spans more than one region. Applicants applying to multiple regions must complete a Multiple-Regions Application Addendum. To request this form, please contact either Lissa Pawlisch or Joel Haskard at rfp@cleanenergyresourceteams.org or 612-624-2293 or 612-625-8759, respectively.

Your Region: If you’re wondering what region you’re in, click here to see a regional map. You can also visit each region’s webpage to view more details about the region’s goals and projects: Central, Metro, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, West Central.

Questions? Click here to read a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If you still have questions after reading the FAQ, you can contact CERT coordination staff:

  • Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and West Central Regions:
    Lissa Pawlisch and Joel Haskard, University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension
    (612) 624-2293 or pawl0048@umn.edu and (612) 625-8759 or haska004@umn.edu

  • Southwest Region:
    Annette Bair, SW Regional Development Commission
    (507) 836-1631 or phydev@swrdc.org

  • Metro Region:
    Diana McKeown, Great Plains Institute
    (612) 278-7158 or dmckeown@gpisd.net

Planning Sessions: Two in-person project planning sessions will be held by Metro CERT. The sessions are 9/17 from 11:30am-1:30pm and 9/19 from 4:30pm-6:30pm. Visit http://metrorfp2013.eventbrite.com to learn more and RSVP for one of the two dates.



Submitting Your Application

Submit your Application Please submit all proposals electronically to rfp@cleanenergyresourceteams.org no later than 4:00pm on Friday, October 18th, 2013.

Be sure to include:

  • CERT Application Form in Word or PDF format
  • Documentation of project impacts (if applicable)
  • Multi-region addendum (if applicable)
  • Letters of support (optional).



Sharing Tools

Share Thanks for helping us spread the word about CERTs Seed Grant funding! Below is language for sharing, photos, a press release, a flier, and audio files. Need something else to spread the word? Contact Dan Thiede at thie0235@umn.edu or 612-626-0556.



Past CERTs Seed Grant Recipients

CERTs awards seed grants to community groups for energy efficiency and clean energy projects across Minnesota. We awarded grants in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012.

This map includes all projects ever funded by CERTs, color-coded by the year the award was given. Click on a project title or a map marker to learn more about individual projects. You can also see project maps for each year.

Map key



Project Planning & Impact Tools

Below are tools by CERTs and others to help you estimate the energy impacts of technology implementation projects. Community, educational, research, or other impacts are to be documented within the CERTs Seed Grant Application Form and do not have accompanying impact tools. Units and conversions are explained in this document.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY PLANNING TOOLS

RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANNING TOOLS

INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES



Seed Grant Application Frequently Asked Questions

APPLICATION & ELIGIBILITY

Our project involves working in, or will be implemented in, more than one CERT region. Which region should I indicate on my application from?

If applying to multiple regions you must request the Multiple-Region Application Addendum form either Lissa Pawlisch or Joel Haskard as described in the Official RFP. You will indicate and provide information about each region in the Addendum.
 

Our project has several components to it (e.g. a solar heating project with community education). Under which component should I categorize my project? Is my potential funding restricted to that component? Under which component will it be evaluated?

If your project involves several components, you should indicate all relevant components in the Energy Focus boxes under Section 4: Project Focus and Impact of the CERTs Funding Application Form. You should also complete all relevant activities and impacts within the Project Activity and Impacts table with that same section. CERT Steering Committees will consider all components of the project, and funding can be applied to labor related to any and all of those components.
 

Our project does not fit in any of the categories listed under the Project Focus and Impact. How do I complete my application form?

The intent of the CERTs seed grant is to fund community energy projects focused on energy efficiency and/or renewable energy. CERTs does not expect the Energy Focus categories to cover all projects, and no project should be considered ineligible solely because it does not fit into one of the listed categories. If your project does not fit into any of the listed categories with the Energy Focus boxes, select “Other” under Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, or Additional Technologies. In the Project Activity and Impacts table, please complete any Corresponding Impacts for your project. If you have any questions, please contact CERTs at rfp@cleanenergyresourceteams.org.
 

What kind of documentation should I submit for my Project Activity and Impacts?

If you are implementing an energy efficiency or renewable energy project that will have measurable energy impacts, CERTs encourages you to estimate those energy impacts as part of your planning process. You may use any of the Project Impact Worksheets or Resources at http://rfp.mncerts.org or other calculators or resources available on the web. Some projects may also have a professional assessment of the project, and those numbers should be submitted. Attach any worksheets, calculators, assessment documents, or other documentation of measurement assumptions and outcomes with your application. You may also contact Alexis Troschinetz, CERTs Metrics Coordinator, for additional assistance at 612-626-0455.
 

What is the difference between community members or students involved and community members or students reached ?

People involved include members on your team who are actively engaged in executing the project or others who are participating in a major way with your project. People reached include those who have learned about your project through information made publicly-available. Examples for how past seed grant recipients have reached people regarding their project include: attendees at presentations or community meetings; visitors to the public location where the project is on display; unique visitors to a webpage with information about the project; number of students in the school where a project took place; number of community members who regularly attend a community center where a project took place; and readership of printed articles in newspapers, trade publications or academic journals.
 

APPLICATION BUDGET

What is the scope of the budget under “Other Funding Support”?

This budget should include any match or other dollars leveraged (cash or in-kind) that are going toward the completion of your project. Please list pending and secured funding sources. If the project is still seeking additional funding sources, please note those funding amounts in the budget table as “pending”.
 

SUBMITTING APPLICATION & MATERIALS

Where, when, and how should I submit application materials?

Application materials need to be received by Friday, October 18th, 2013 at 4:00 pm at rfp@cleanenergyresourceteams.org. Please include your Region and Project Name in the subject line. Application materials include the CERT Seed Grant Application Form, any documentation to support project impacts, and any letters of support for secured match funding for the project. If you are applying for funding from multiple regions, you must also include the Multiple-Regions Application Addendum. You will receive confirmation within 1-2 business days of the receipt of your application.
 

ELIGIBLE EXPENSES

What can we use the CERTs Seed Grant dollars for?

CERTs Seed Grants can cover labor costs only. Proposals to request CERTs funding to cover materials, fees, printing, or travel will need to be revised by the applicant to only include labor costs, thereby delaying the review process.
 

COMPLETION ISSUES

What if our project is funded, but we cannot complete our project on time?

If you are having difficulty completing your project, we ask that you contact CERT Staff immediately. You can always contact us via the RFP@cleanenergyresourceteams.org email. Maggie Kozak is the primary point of contact for any contracting questions and would glad to discuss an issue with you over the phone. Her phone number is 612-626-0555. Please know that while we want to work with all funded projects to help ensure their completion, if you are truly unable to complete your project, our intent is to put the money toward a project that can be completed. We absolutely require that projects begin work before the interim reporting date of June 15, 2014. If a project has not begun work the funding will be revoked and reallocated to another project. This is not to penalize projects that cannot move forward, but rather to ensure that we’re able to catalyze local projects with these dollars.
 

ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS

I have a question that has not been addressed above in this FAQ. What do I do?

If you have a question that has not been addressed by this FAQ, please email your question directly to rfp@cleanenergyresourceteams.org and we will try to respond within 3-5 business days. You can also contact CERT coordination staff:

  • Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and West Central Regions:
    Lissa Pawlisch and Joel Haskard, University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension
    (612) 624-2293 or pawl0048@umn.edu and (612) 625-8759 or haska004@umn.edu

  • Southwest Region:
    Annette Bair, SW Regional Development Commission
    (507) 836-1631 or phydev@swrdc.org

  • Metro Region:
    Diana McKeown, Great Plains Institute
    (612) 278-7158 or dmckeown@gpisd.net