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American Green Energy Summit
Dan Thiede
06/20/2018 - 11:59am
Across Minnesota, organizations from every industry are finding innovative ways to advance energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainability practices in their day-to-day operations. In an effort to recognize and share these efforts, the first annual American Green Energy Summit, AGES for short, is being held this October in the Twin Cities. We interviewed event organizer and KARE 11 News Anchor Tim McNiff to learn more about the summit.   What is the AGES Summit all about and why should people attend?   The American Green Energy Summit is a first of its kind, two-day event at the JW Marriott, Mall of America, with a vision to advance sustainable energy efforts through the sharing of best practices by industry leaders. Our vision is to create the Oscars of Green Energy, bringing people from 20...
Itasca County Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Joel Haskard
06/08/2018 - 11:52am
A small business with an aging building can benefit immensely from energy efficiency upgrades, benefits such as reduced utility bills, improved building aesthetics and increased building life. However, these upgrades can be financially cumbersome to small businesses that often operate on smaller margins. The Business Energy Retrofit (BER) grant program can help alleviate energy upgrade costs to small businesses. It is funded by Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation and administered through a partnership with Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (AEOA). Two Grand Rapids businesses recently took advantage of this program.   Itasca County Habitat for Humanity ReStore   The Itasca County Habitat for Humanity ReStore (pictured above) received a BER grant to pay a portion of the costs for electricity...
Solar ribbon cutting at the MN Capitol
Peter Lindstrom
06/08/2018 - 11:03am
Electricity to the Minnesota Capitol complex is getting greener with the activation of the first phase of a large new solar array on the roof of the Minnesota Senate Building (MSB). The project, overseen by the Minnesota Department of Administration, was formally opened last month with a ribbon-cutting. Partners in the project include Mortenson Construction and Gephardt Electric, who installed the system, and Xcel Energy. “The State of Minnesota is leading by example, working to increase renewable energy at the State Capitol to better protect Minnesotans’ health and our environment,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Thanks to statewide, bipartisan efforts, Minnesota has already met our goal to generate 25 percent of our energy needs from renewable sources by 2025.” The solar project consists of 414 twenty-one square foot panels that produce 133,000 peak watts of direct current power...
Janvi Trivedi
Diana McKeown
06/05/2018 - 2:21pm
A very warm welcome to Janvi Trivedi, Metro CERT’s intern from Yale this summer. We asked Janvi to share little more about herself and what she’s most looking forward to this summer. “First and foremost, I’m so excited to join the Metro CERT team and Great Plains Institute for a summer of clean energy and sustainable programming initiatives!” Janvi shared. “As a rising junior at Yale majoring in chemical engineering, clean energy practices and conserving natural resources have always been an interest and passion of mine. During my time at Yale, I’ve conducted research in hydroelectric power generation and methods of desalinating water. I’m excited to step out of my more technical engineering bubble this summer and spend this time learning more about the social aspects of how clean energy gets implemented. I was born and raised in Detroit...
Metro CERT Region
Diana McKeown
06/05/2018 - 12:38pm
The Metro region, like all the CERTs regions, is guided by a steering committee. The steering committee is made up of people with affiliations from communities, environmental organizations, utilities, state and local governments, academia and business. They help the Metro CERT staff keep updated on what is happening in their networks, what is emerging and what is needed to support community-scale clean energy projects. They also set priorities based on those trends and needs to guide the program and funding for the region. Click here to see the current members of the steering committee. Over the past few months the steering committee has set priorities for the next two years that include elements from the broader CERTs strategic direction. The priorities for the Metro region for 2018 & 2019 include: Focus...
Xcel Energy Partners In Energy Program
Tami Gunderzik
05/11/2018 - 11:36am
Although Minnesota communities share a common belief of how important a healthy environment is to both our economy and lifestyle, there are many ways of putting that value into action. Finding ways to engage local businesses and residents to make a contribution toward a clean energy plan is an approach that works. Eighteen communities in Minnesota have participated in Partners in Energy to develop a plan that helps them identify where they want to go with respect to energy and how to best achieve those goals, and now there is an opportunity for even more to share in their success. Xcel Energy is now accepting applications for the next cohort of communities to join Partners in Energy....
Business Blitzers (left to right): John Howard, City of Winona; Chris Meyer, SE CERT coordinator; Sadie Neuman, City of Winona; Alexis Troschinetz, CERTs; Joel Haskard, CERTs
Sadie Neuman
05/08/2018 - 2:34pm
After a snowstorm delayed plans, five staff from the City of Winona and Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) set out in March for the first Business Blitz in downtown Winona. The blitz involved walking door-to-door in downtown Winona to speak with small and medium sized businesses about reducing energy use and saving money on their energy bills. They achieved their goal of reaching 100 small and medium businesses, and signed 29 businesses up for free energy assessments with EnergySmart, a program offered by the State Chamber of Commerce. The blitz is following the success of a series of blitzes in other communities over the past several years. Throughout the day, the Business Blitz team informed business owners...
Minnesota GreenStep Cities survey results
Alexis Troschinetz
04/13/2018 - 11:15am
We had a great response rate to the second annual survey of cities and tribal nations in the Minnesota GreenStep program. The number of cities and tribal nations responding to the survey improved four points over the inaugural survey. Read on for some highlights of the results! 2017 Survey: 84 responded out of the 110 communities at the time = 76% response rate 2018: 96 responded out of 119 = 80% response rate It’s great to have so many communities will to share feedback about the program! We will continue to improve the program based on the survey’s responses.   Top Best Practice Actions for 2018   GreenStep Best Practice Advisors and others are busy following-up with the 72 GreenStep Cities or Tribal Nations that expressed interest in receiving assistance on 12 specific best practice actions. If all of...
Photos from the 2018 CERTs Conference
Lissa Pawlisch
04/06/2018 - 12:54pm
Over 500 Minnesotans attended the seventh statewide CERTs Conference, connecting to build a clean energy future in their communities! March 28-29 were two truly energizing days in St. Cloud, MN for the 2018 CERTs Conference. Communities, organizations, and individuals showed up to figure out how they can get projects done, save money, and be part of Minnesota’s fastest growing jobs sector. See photos from the event:   Conference presentations available for download   The 2018 CERTs Conference featured 80 speakers who shared their experience and expertise. Their presentations are now available so you can see what you...
Seven communities won 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards
MN Dept. of Commerce
04/03/2018 - 2:15pm
Seven Minnesota communities are recipients of the 2018 Clean Energy Community Awards coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), with financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy. The awards were presented March 28, 2018 at the CERTs Community Driven Clean Energy Conference in St. Cloud. This year’s awards honor community-organized clean energy initiatives in the Town of Crystal Bay, City of Edina, Hennepin County, Minnesota State University Mankato, City of Red Wing, City of Warren, and Sustain Winona. These communities are contributing to the state’s clean energy goals with programs, policies and technologies that encourage energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy generation. “Minnesota has ambitious clean energy goals and the objective of our Clean Energy Community Awards is to acknowledge the great work of...


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