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It’s difficult to get teenagers to clean their room, much less take on a project, but that’s just what the students at Northfield School of Arts and Technology (ARTech) did. ARTech is a charter school in Northfield, Minnesota, comprised of talented students in grades 6-12. The first time the school received a grant from the SE CERTs, it was for an...
Norm and Mary Erickson of Hazelnut Valley Farm retired and started a hazelnut farm in Lake City, MN. Their nutty adventures into the business of growing, harvesting, and processing the crop led them to install a solar-heated greenhouse with many innovative features. They look forward to a future where hazelnuts can be profitably converted into...
With a vast agricultural industry and resources spread over fields and acres, how do you measure the true renewable energy resources of Minnesota? The Agricultural Utilization Research Institute and partners in Southern MN have been working on populating a template to capture the renewable energy potential of their communities.
Dairy farmers are an industrious group by nature, and farmer and entrepreneur Peter Reese of Goodhue County has eyes for common sense and untapped opportunities. The basic concept of Perpetual Harvest, LLC, came from Peter’s thoughts about how our economy is under-utilizing available and renewable local resources.
Chuck Knierim found a gem in a trash heap when he pulled out a discarded 1976 electric Ford Endura. The Endura traces its origin back to the Arab Oil Embargo of the early 1970s. As oil prices skyrocketed, the federal government allocated funds for alternative transportation options, and every project proposed was an electric car.
The Bakken, Minneapolis’ museum of Electricity in Life, is devoted to educating the public about the role of electricity in our lives. Their exhibits cover every aspect of electricity from our own brain function to the inner workings or our televisions. Since its founding in the 1970s the mission has been to “inspire a passion for science and its...
How do you help new homeowners financially beyond the initial purchase of their homes? One approach is to renovate the homes with energy use and operating costs in mind. Now the question becomes what is the best use of limited renovation funds? City of Lakes Community Land Trust (CLCLT), a nonprofit in Minneapolis committed to providing housing for...
Keeping costs low is a constant concern for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Nonprofits might be excluded from having to pay taxes, but they don’t escape energy costs just like every other business. In fact, since nonprofits tend to struggle with cashflow, investing in energy efficiency can be more difficult for them than for their for-profit...
As the clean energy movement sweeps quickly, yet quietly, across Minnesota, communities are discovering new and unique opportunities for renewable energy development. With its diverse and varied landscape, Minnesota has the ability to participate in clean energy development in several ways.
The light bulb is considered one of the greatest inventions of all time. It extended our day, made streets brighter and safer, and allowed more time for leisurely activities.

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