The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2017, which is Women’s History Month.

Rebecca Olson

The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2017, which is Women’s History Month.

Kelly Lady

The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2017, which is Women’s History Month.

Michelle Matthews

The Minnesota Women in Energy series highlights influential women who are part of our state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. CERTs is highlighting these leaders during the month of March in 2017, which is Women’s History Month.

Robin Weis

This article is an excerpt of a recent story from the Chisago County Press.

There is a solar boom happening in Minnesota, and with the 100 MW North Star Solar project now complete, it’s booming the most in Chisago County, which estimates that about $350,000 in tax revenue will be created by solar projects in the county.

North Star Solar project

This is an excerpt from a recent story by Mark Fischenich in the Mankato Free Press.

The city of Mankato will reduce its future electrical bills by $1.9 million through subscriptions to solar energy projects in the area, boosting the savings by more than 50 percent from its initial agreement last summer.

Project Stove Swap is managed by Minnesota nonprofit Environmental Initiative, in partnership with Minnesota Power. The project offers financial incentives for residents, nonprofits and businesses with older wood burning stoves to upgrade. The level of incentive varies based on the type of appliance and income level, but can reach up to $10,000.

Project Stove Swap

Minnesota and California along with six school districts and several national organizations are implementing partners in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) new Zero Energy Schools Accelerator program, the DOE announced on Dec. 6.

Zero Energy Schools program

This is an excerpt from a recent Marshall Independent story by Deb Gau.

Over the past few months, Heather Westman said, there have been plenty of questions from the community about the solar panels going up behind the Kruse Motors dealerships in Marshall.

“It’s been really positive.

Kruse Motors in Marshall, MN goes solar

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting applications from organizations interested in participating as a host site for the 2017-2018 year of the Minnesota GreenCorps program. Applications from eligible organizations interested in hosting Minnesota GreenCorps members are due by 5:00pm on Friday, March 17, 2017.

2016-2017 GreenCorps Members

Paws + Claws Rescue & Resort in Hackensack, MN is building a brand new facility that will open in late Spring 2017. They will be working hard to make sure that their shelter pets find the forever homes they deserve, and thanks in part to a Central CERT Seed Grant, their new headquarters will also be the forever home to a 40 kW solar PV array.

Paws + Claws Rescue & Resort installs solar PV

Talk Inc. in Sauk Centre, MN focuses it’s business on installing and remanufacturing wind turbines, and also on solar installations.

Leading up to the national Small Wind Conference taking place in the Twin Cities on April 10-11, 2017 we thought it would be nice to catch up with Talk Inc. Owner Adam Suelflow to learn more about their wind turbine work.

Small wind turbine being installed

This is an excerpt from a recent article by Al Edenloff in the Alexandria Echo Press.

Imagine zipping down the road in your new electric car but with one nagging question: Is there a charging station nearby? Soon you won’t have to worry as much. The Interstate 94 corridor from Detroit, Mich.

This excerpt is from a recent article by Nick Williams in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal.

A year-long project to connect ten public housing high-rises in Saint Paul to a community solar garden is nearly complete. When complete, the St. Paul Public Housing Agency will become the first public housing organization in the U.S.

The 11 km Lester-Amity ski trail traverses moderate terrain and stunning woodlands from the confluence of Lester and Amity creeks on the north side of Duluth. This is the most popular ski trail in the city due to the easy skiing and 5 km of lighted trail (now powered by solar).

Lester-Amity Ski Trails

Cities across Minnesota and the country are working to reduce costs and fuel consumption by greening and electrifying their vehicle fleets. The City of Elk River recently produced a Green City Fleet Guide as part of a Metro CERT Seed Grant funded project that can guide other cities in taking action.

City of Elk River Green City Fleet Guide

According to a recent article by Elizabeth Dunbar at Minnesota Public Radio, “It took about 10 years to go from virtually nothing to 35 megawatts of capacity in 2015, but last year that jumped to 250 megawatts.”

Click here to listen to the full story >>

More and more cities, counties, businesses, and homeowners are finding that solar makes sense for their bottom line.

Although still in the early stages of planning, there is an exciting model brewing to help residents of the Hillcrest Community Cooperative in Clarks Grove, MN reduce their energy costs and power their manufactured homes with community solar.

Community Solar Garden

Electricity at Timm’s Trucking in Morristown is now provided by the company’s new 30.5 kW Solar PV array, locking in today’s energy costs for years to come.

Business owner Randy Timm described the double benefit of installing a renewable energy system that was “not only good for the environment, but saved money on my electric bills and improved my bottom line.

Solar PV on top of Timm's Trucking in Morristown, MN

Building operation is a huge cost that most cities, counties, and other local governments have in common. But often there’s a disconnect between building operation and energy savings, one that a new manual available to Minnesota local governments is designed to fix.

City of Farmington

Applications for the fourth year of the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program will be accepted beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, and ending Feb. 28, 2017. The 10-year, $150-million program helps fund new solar electric and solar thermal systems for Minnesota residents, businesses, and communities. The program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive

The Groom Room dog boarding and grooming in Hawley, MN is one example of a small business reaping the benefits of renewable energy. Inspired by another local business, owner Jane Anderson recently installed 72 solar panels to cover her electricity needs.

The Groom Room in Hawley, MN with solar array in distance

St. Olaf College, located in southeast Minnesota, is taking energy matters into their own hands and making the leap toward 100% renewable energy. This great feat has taken commendable initiative in order to completely relinquish dependence on non-renewable electricity sources.

According to Pete Sandberg, St.

On December 1st, a small team of community members and folks from the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) went out in pairs to doorknock in Chisago City and the City of Lindstrom to encourage small business owners to participate in a free energy and/or solar assessment of their business through the Chisago Clean Energy Hub.

Diana McKeown with Metro CERT talks to a Chisago business owner about energy efficiency

Are you still stringing the same old incandescent decorative lights for the holidays?

 
For many Minnesotans, the house, porch, shrubs and trees are donned with holiday lights. Depending on one’s holiday lighting enthusiasm, a home can save between $10 to $250 each holiday season by switching to LED holiday lighting.

LED holiday lights - More merry and less money