Winona Power of MN Event

Minnesota clean energy documentary & conversation featured at Frozen River Film Festival

On Saturday, February 9th, Minnesota’s clean energy economy—which last year provided 25% of the state’s electricity—was on the big screen at the Frozen River Film Festival in Winona, MN.

While many people had driven past solar and wind energy systems around Winona and southern Minnesota, most had not heard the stories of the people behind these clean energy developments. The Power of Minnesota is a new Minnesota-made documentary featuring stories about the ways clean energy is driven by and supporting families, communities, schools, and businesses. Over 50 people came to watch the film, hear about local projects, find actions they could take, and connect with others.

Winona is undertaking innovative and ambitious clean energy actions, setting an example for communities across Minnesota. This event engaged folks in discussion around how they can individually join the movement. Attendees wanted to see more community solar gardens serving Winona, more electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, and more businesses saving through energy efficiency.

Tara Ritter, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Hearing from Local Speakers

  1. Briana Baker, Southern MN Organizer with Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light. In addition to being the narrator of the documentary, Briana supports the River Prairie Network and solar work in southern Minnesota, and is also a weatherization carpenter for Minnesota Valley Action Council.
  2. John Howard, Natural Resource Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Winona. John is the first-ever sustainability coordinator for Winona, tasked with working on sustainability and energy initiatives, meeting with environmental groups, and stormwater compliance.

After watching the film and hearing from local speakers, it was awesome to have the opportunity to talk in small groups with others who came about what resonated with them, what they wanted to learn more about, and the kinds of action they’d like to take on themselves and see in their community. People were most surprised to hear that clean energy supports over 59,000 jobs in Minnesota, that solar and wind provide a new source of income for struggling farmers, and that these projects generate such a large amount of tax revenue for local communities.

Dan Thiede, Clean Energy Resource Teams
Power of MN at Frozen River Film Festival

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