CERTs Clean Energy Scrapbook

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Clean Energy Scrapbook The CERTs Clean Energy Scrapbook is a collection of stories and memories about how CERTs has helped communities reach their clean energy goals. It is also a great place to reflect on the last 10 years of clean energy action since CERTs began in 2003.
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A great, informative event

I found your event to be quite informative and I’m glad I was in attendance. I work in the renewable energy sector as a sale rep., designer, and installer and consider myself well informed, but on the Mankato Clean Energy Tour I learned things! This is an incredibly valuable service. Thank you very much. Keep up the good work.

- Chris Gamer
Head of PV Division, Partner | Novel Energy Solutions
Thanks for your helpful blog and case studies!

I spent some time browsing through your website and came across some really excellent case studies. I want to thank you all for making this information so easily accessible! I have to compliment you on the wealth of information you put out. I’ve been spending a fair amount of time browsing websites like yours and you all have far and away the most helpful blog and case studies.

- Ben King
Research Associate | David Gardiner and Associates
Dedicated and motivated people working toward for a common cause

During the few hours I spent at the CERTs office volunteering, I had the opportunity to witness a group of dedicated and motivated people work hard to rally our communities to a meaningful cause, which was quite inspiring. I’m glad I was able to give you guys a hand!

- Bernard
Student Volunteer | University of Minnesota
Let's Start at the Very Beginning

With the help of folks at CERTs, the City of Royalton started at the very beginning of its renewable energy journey by doing an energy audit. The energy audit showed the council and residents that making renewable energy changes can impact the environment and the budget of the city. We did a re-lamping project first and then moved to switching from incandescent to LED traffic lights. We then installed solar panels on our City Hall! CERTs provides education and encouragement to cities and makes it easy for cities to make sound decisions about clean energy projects.

- Andrea Lauer
Mayor | City of Royalton
Valued Partners on the Iron Range

CERTs has been a very important partner to our organization as we have evolved into THE voice for sustainability on the Iron Range. Whether it is by helping to judge our Green Inventors Contest for area youth, by participating in the wildly successful Iron Range Earth Fest held each spring, by co-sponsoring Northeast CERTs events in Hibbing and Virginia, or by just supporting IRPS in our varied sustainability projects, CERTs is a valued partner that we can count on. Here’s to the next ten years!

- Don Graves
Board Member | Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability (IRPS)
The Art of Clean Energy: Screen Printed CERTs Posters

These posters were made in 2007 by a University of Minnesota screen printing class for CERTs. Check them out and share them around!

- Joel Haskard
CERTs Co-Director | University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships & Extension
Digging in and making changes

The people (both young and not so young) now involved in CERTs and programs like it are the type that dig in and make changes, and that’s where the real value is. The billions of BTUs and millions of dollars CERTs is currently saving the state will easily translate to trillions 10 years from now. Any change in our habits as a society needs to come from the bottom up, and CERTs is a great way to maximize impact of dollars spent to reduce energy use.

Willmar Senior High School greenhouse project

- Derek Otteson
Co-Founder | Rural Energy Solutions
A Hope Grant for Project Independence

Project Independence was a quest to put a 10kw solar photovoltaic system on Chisago Lakes Middle school. These 44 panels were to be fully funded by students and staff with no cost to the school. We began the process in 2008 when the world economy fell apart so our project began against great odds. Trying to raise $73,000 at a time like that was going to be difficult. We knew, however, that this project was so worth doing and would teach kids so many lessons about life, persistence and the importance of working through difficulties to make sacrifices to make the world a better place.

Click to see larger image Our project had many ups and downs. It seemed like at our darkest moment, when it looked as if all our hard work might just not be enough, CERTs came to the rescue with a $5,000 SEED grant. I think the name SEED is appropriate for the name of the grant but for us it was a HOPE grant. The grant and the encouragement we received from CERTs came just at the most critical juncture and renewed us to continue the fight for something we believed in. The funding gave us leverage to seek out other groups that could help us since obviously others had less faith in what we were trying to accomplish. We had been told by funding sources who didn’t believe we had a chance to pull this off, to “come back when you get closer to your financial goals”. The CERTs funding allowed us to say “we’re back…” and to help us make Project Independence a reality.

CERTs is a wonderful organization of like minded people with the expertise to help you make dreams realities. The students at CLMS will walk underneath our gleaming panels for many years as they enter and leave our building. Hopefully these students will leave our building changed and will be part of the generation that makes solar energy mainstream and oil and gas the alternative energy sources.

- Pat Collins
Science Teacher | Chisago Lakes Middle School
Video: Hunt Utilities Group, Buffalo Municipal Utilities


We could tell you why you should work with CERTs, but we’d rather let others do the talking. Here’s what Bob McLean and Quinn Swanson with the Hunt Utilities Group in Pine River and Joe Steffel, the Utilities Director with the City of Buffalo, have to say.

Making connections across boundaries

There's no better group tying together the grassroots and policy wonks on energy work in Minnesota, across political and geographic boundaries.

- John Farrell
Senior Researcher | Institute for Local Self-Reliance

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