Metro CERT celebrates 12 years at annual resource and networking event

Learning & Networking

On October 10, over 90 people gathered for the 12th Annual Metro CERT Annual Event at the St. Louis Park Rec Center. The event included:

  1. A keynote presentation from the City of Maplewood about their Re-Energize Maplewood Seed Grant
  2. A panel of cities from the Cities Charging Ahead! electric vehicle (EV) cohort
  3. A look at Minneapolis’ Green Cost Share program
  4. A glance at what’s on the horizon for Metro CERT
  5. Delicious food and lots of networking!

Getting to know the audience

As has now become a Metro CERT Annual Event tradition, things started off with some live polling of the audience. Attendees came from all over the metro and had a wide variety of professions, but with the majority working for a non-profit. Check out the results below!

Re-Energize Maplewood Seed Grant

Shann Finwall, Environmental Planner with the City of Maplewood, spoke about Re-Energize Maplewood Seed Grant, the largest grant ever given by Metro CERT! Re-energize Maplewood built on the success of the Energize Maplewood! initiative and worked toward developing a pathway towards the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan renewable energy goals, focusing on improved energy efficiency, solar energy generation opportunities, and community awareness and education. The project identified 29,169,900 kwh of solar capacity in the city! To learn more about the project, check out their presentation below and read more about Re-Energize Maplewood in their Seed Grant case study.

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Cities Charging Ahead! Electric Vehicle Panel

Cities Charging Ahead!, co-led by CERTs and Great Plains Institute, was a year and a half long cohort project helping 28 MN cities explore what it means to be ‘electric vehicle ready’. The project focused on three key areas: fleets, charging infrastructure, and EV-ready standards. Three panelists shared their experiences, lessons learned, best practices, and answered questions on how they are getting their cities ready for the EV revolution:

  • Charging - Michael Keim, Fleet Manager, City of Bloomington 
  • Fleets - Jen McLoughlin, Sustainability Specialist, City of Woodbury
  • EV Ready Standards - Tara Brown, Sustainability Specialist, City of Edina

You can check out their presentations below, read more about Cities Charging Ahead!, and check out the new Communities page on the Drive Electric Minnesota website with all the tools developed through the project to help other communities become EV ready.

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Minneapolis Green Cost Share

Nadia Khan from the City of Minneapolis presented on the Minneapolis Green Cost Share program. Since 2012, the program “aims to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Minneapolis by working with people.” Nadia went over the basics of the program; offering up to 90% matching funds to commercial, industrial, non-profit, and multi-family properties implementing an energy efficiency, solar, or innovative pollutions reduction project with an equity focus on Environmental Justice and low-income housing. Check out Nadia’s slides below to read more about the benefits, project examples, and lots more information on the program. There have been 363 total project sites with an estimated 12,773 metric tons of greenhouse gas reduction! Learn more about the Green Cost Share program in our recent blog, and visit the city's website to see details and apply.

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What’s Next?

Metro CERT Director Diana McKeown wrapped up the programming portion of the evening with an overview of what Metro CERT will be working on next and challenged attendees to think about what the next decade of clean energy adoption will look like and what they will do to help their communities take action.

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Check out all of the photos from the event!

Metro CERT 2019 Event

Download Speaker Presentations

Re-Energize Maplewood!
Cities Charging Ahead! Panel
Minneapolis Green Cost Share
What's Next for Metro CERT

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