Catalyzing funds for communities

CERTs Seed Grants

Growing Local Efforts

CERTs awards seed grants to communities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across Minnesota. We’ve awarded over $1.6M to 467 projects since 2006.

Explore previously funded projects in the map, stories, and lists below to get inspired!

Seed Grant Project Map

The map below includes all projects funded by CERTs with different colors for different years. Choose on a map dot to learn more about individual projects, drag to move, and use the + and – buttons to zoom.

Seed Projects by Grant Year

2022 Grants
2020 Grants
2018 Grants
2016 Grants
2014 Grants
2012-2013 Grants
2012 Grants
2010 Grants
2008-2009 Grants
2008 Grants


Thanks to everyone who applied for a CERTs Seed Grant. We are inspired by your clean energy ideas and initiative to move them forward. 

The number of applications submitted in 2022 marked a high point in seed grant history thanks to staff and steering committee outreach, on-going relationship building, and tremendous community interest in clean energy. 

Video About CERTs Seed Grants

Interested in the seed grants process?

This is how we directed the program's 2021/22 round:

Primary Objectives:

  • Encourage community-based clean energy projects in each Minnesota CERT region. Clean energy projects can include projects such as: energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy, electric vehicle-related projects, and energy storage.
  • Spur projects that are highly visible in their community and can be replicated by others.
  • Provide an opportunity for community education about clean energy and its many benefits.

Regional Funding Availability for 2022: Each region had its own pool of funding: $30,000 per region. Each regional CERT Steering Committee made the funding selections for its region. See map of regions. Funding for these projects was provided through the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources. 

Note: Commerce added $120,000 more for projects focused on underserved communities by leveraging its State Energy Office funds from the U.S. Department of Energy. In addition, a new award from the Morgan Family Foundation provided an additional $70,000 in CERTs Seed Grant funding.

Amounts: These are considered seed grants. Projects have historically received funding for amounts between $2,000 and $5,000, and can be used for labor and minor materials and supplies.

Seed Grant Timeline:

  • July 7, 2021: CERTs Issued RFP and began accepting applications.
  • July 7-Oct. 8, 2021: CERTs staff available to assist applicants with seed grant ideas, questions, and applications.
  • Oct. 8, 2021 at 4p.m.: Final deadline for applications.
  • Oct. 11-Nov. 12, 2021: Steering Committees reviewed applications and met to determine project funding.
  • Nov. 19-Dec. 3, 2021: CERTs notified all applicants of funding decisions.
  • Early Dec. 2021: Organizations received an email notifying them when they can begin work.
  • Early Jan. 2022: Public announcement of awards; CERTs media outreach about funded projects.
  • June 1, 2022 at 4p.m.: Project interim report due. Projects may also submit an interim invoice for up to 50% of the full project award. Any project that has not begun work may have funding revoked. Funds will be redirected to other project(s) in the region.
  • Jan. 6, 2023 at 4p.m.: Final Invoice and Final Report due. Project work must be completed.
  • Jan.-July 2023: CERTs will work with Seed Grant Recipients to develop project case studies.

2021 Request for Proposals (RFP)


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