At the 2018 Eco Experience Energy Exhibit, Commerce partnered with GreenStep Cities and other organizations to deliver messages about clean energy community actions. Representatives from several Minnesota communities engaged fairgoers in discussions regarding actions they have taken to reach their own clean energy goals. Projects included community solar installations, public building benchmarking and retrofitting, comprehensive planning, promoting residential and business energy savings, and energy savings performance contracting projects. With over 250,000 visitors over the 12 days of the fair, there were a lot of opportunities for fairgoers to learn how their communities could set and reach their own clean energy goals!
For the 2019 Energy Exhibit, Commerce is seeking to greatly expand the scope of the display and educational messaging. We are showcasing the efforts of 12 communities (one each day) and providing a platform for representatives/partners from the selected communities to share their successes with fair attendees. This is a chance for communities to promote their clean energy efforts, both to their local constituents and to the entire state.
Recognizing that many communities have limited resources, we have put together a grant program to help support the educational outreach efforts. Awards of up to $2,500 per community will offset some of the costs associated with developing messaging and staffing at the fair. Additionally, Commerce will be providing infrastructure and installation, signage and collateral design/production, additional displays, training for staff, and other support—including consultations with communities throughout the process.