CERTs announces second round of Seed Grant awards in Southeast Region


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CERTs Seed Grants

The Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team (SE CERT) is pleased to announce its second round of Seed Grant awards in 2014 for community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

See below for a list of the four projects funded in Spring 2014. This is in addition to the 34 Seed Grant projects funded by CERTs across the state in 2014. Click here to see all of the projects.

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)

Click here to see all 2014 Seed Grant projects >>

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    CERTs Partners:

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