Solar & Wind News

By Anna Carlson    August 16th, 2017
“This is the first 100% low-income shared solar array in the state of Minnesota, and the first low-income community solar array integrated into energy assistance (LIHEAP) in the nation!” notes Jason Edens with Rural Renewable Energy Alliance, the solar developer for the five Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe solar installations. “With 42% of the Leech Lake Nation living below the poverty level, this solar facility will help ensure low-income families have the resources to reduce their energy costs. It is the first community solar array in Indian Country in the nation.”... Continue reading
By Trevor Drake    August 15th, 2017
Almost every time we give a community presentation on solar, somebody asks about how the costs of the technology are changing and whether it’s best to wait to “go solar.” It’s a smart question, and indeed the costs of the physical components of solar projects are being driven down by market forces (though arguably not quick enough to warrant waiting). The trouble with this question is that it misses the target in seeing what’s most important, which is not just the cost of hardware but the final cost of an installed system. The non-hardware “soft costs” of solar, which include the costs... Continue reading
By Frank Jossi    August 11th, 2017
Interested in battery storage? Connexus, Minnesota’s largest retail electric cooperative, is working toward building Minnesota’s largest energy storage project supporting three of their solar projects. Reposted with permission from original article by Frank Jossi for Midwest Energy News. Minnesota’s largest retail electric cooperative is in negotiation with vendors to build the largest storage energy project in the state alongside three solar installations. Connexus Energy plans to install storage capable of storing 20 megawatts, the equivalent of 40 MW hours of energy, according... Continue reading
By Gordon Moore    July 20th, 2017
The energy revolution is spreading, and Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light (MNIPL) is doggedly determined to help Minnesota’s variety of faith communities join the movement. Although some energy efficiency and clean energy resources are available to congregations and other faith organizations, MNIPL staff wanted to jumpstart connections and empower congregations to live out their values. In an effort to further faith communities’ energy efficiency efforts, in 2016 the MNIPL Energy Efficiency Team undertook a Metro CERT-funded outreach project. Julia Nerbonne, MNIPL’s... Continue reading
By Sophia Krohn    July 20th, 2017
Tucked into the south side of Minneapolis, Tangletown is a neighborhood interested in clean energy possibilities. The neighborhood hopes to foster a culture of energy sustainability by installing solar arrays in an urban setting. With a $1,000 Seed Grant from Metro CERT, they assessed four roofs and evaluated their suitability for installing solar arrays ranging in size from 40 kW up to 140 kW. In an era where environmental interest and campaigns are prolific, Joy Gottschalk from the board of Tangletown describes clean energy as “the elephant in the room; it is an environmental issue... Continue reading
By Annette Fiedler    July 12th, 2017
Three signs welcoming people to the City of Slayton are now illuminated using the power of the sun. The new entrance signs use solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to power energy-efficient LED light bulbs. The signs are backlit with LED lights. A 280-watt solar panel was installed to power each of the three signs, and battery systems are used so that the signs can remain off the grid, avoiding expensive connections to electric lines. Josh Malchow, Slayton’s City Administrator, reported that “After considering the overall cost of running power to the sites or using solar, the city felt that... Continue reading

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