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Funding Available for Minnesota Clean Energy Projects

CERTs Seed Grants are back

How could a seed grant of $5,000-$10,000 support clean energy projects in your community? The Clean Energy Resource Teams want to help!

get ready for a clean energy ribbon cutting in your communityThe Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) award seed grants for community-led energy efficiency and renewable energy projects throughout Minnesota.

Applications will be considered for projects relating to the following types of clean energy: energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and energy storage. Priority will be given to projects that help people learn about clean energy, build community, remove barriers to make clean energy more accessible to everyone, have the potential to be highly visible, and will inspire other communities to take action. 

“Since 2006, CERTs has awarded more than $1.6 million to over 467 projects,” says Joel Haskard, Clean Energy Resource Teams Co-Director. “Those projects range from energy efficiency upgrades for a food shelf - to outreach materials for communities with high energy burden -  to public EV chargers, and much more.”

Examples of previously awarded projects from each region:

  • Central: St. Cloud – Community Grassroots Solutions conducted outreach and education to better understand opportunities and barriers related to clean energy careers.

  • Metro: Minneapolis – Just B Solar hosted a solar 101 camp for youth to understand how solar energy works and how they could benefit from it, while also creating their own mini solar panels.

  • Northeast: Sandstone – 40 Acre Cooperative installed five 100W solar panels on hoop houses to extend their growing season, sharing what they learned with farmers across the Midwest. 

  • Northwest: Fertile – Aaron’s Grocery upgraded coolers to energy efficient models, using his seed grant to cover labor expenses, ensuring his community access to fresh produce and meats that are otherwise unavailable near their town.  

  • Southeast: Winona – Project FINE incorporated energy efficiency resources into their operations, including translated education materials and free energy bill clinics. 

  • Southwest: Slayton – Shetek Lutheran Ministries upgraded to LED lights and used it as an example to help their community members understand how to make similar upgrades in their own homes.

  • West Central: Willmar  – Willmar Municipal Utilities shared energy-saving kits and education materials to residents in manufactured homes to help lower their energy bills and better understand energy-saving habits.

Funding for these projects is provided through the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s Division of Energy Resources and the Morgan Family Foundation.

About CERTs: The Clean Energy Resource Teams are a statewide partnership with a shared mission to connect people and communities to the resources they need to identify and implement clean energy projects. CERTs partners include University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Great Plains Institute, Southwest Regional Development Commission, and the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources.

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