Solar & Wind News

By Joel Haskard    September 21st, 2015
If you are traveling down south to Austin, Minnesota (home of the Spam Museum), be sure to check out their new solar-powered electric vehicle charger! Partially funded by a CERTs Seed Grant, the system was installed by Austin Utilities with the help of Riverland Community College students. Kelly Lady, Marketing and Energy Services Director with Austin Utilities, noted that the students and faculty were excited to use the metered data from the 1.4 kW solar photovoltaic system in their curriculum. Based on current usage, Ms. Lady estimated that around 90 vehicles will use the charger... Continue reading
By Joel Haskard    September 21st, 2015
Minnesota is the nation’s number one turkey producer. A CERTs Seed Grant helped research ways to further reduce energy costs in turkey barns and strengthen these core Minnesota businesses. Turkey production facilities have high ventilation make-up air loads and therefore high heating loads. Turkey production operations are often far from the natural gas grid and dependent on expensive delivered fuels. With that in mind, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance (RREAL) set out to prove that transpired air is a low-cost, effective solar technology designed for ventilation make-up air loads and... Continue reading
By Joel Haskard    September 21st, 2015
Power Up Winona Community Solar is a group of 20 citizens formed with the commitment of bringing a 1 MW community solar garden (CSG) to Xcel Energy territory in Winona County. They are close to realizing a CSG which will have about 30-40% residential subscriptions and 60-70% local institutions. If the demand exists—which early indications at recruiting subscribers seems to show—additional CSGs may be established in the coming years. Southeast CERT supported the group with a $3,286 Seed Grant. Below are reflections by project lead Chris Meyer. On how they began: “... Continue reading
By Maggie Kozak    September 20th, 2015
Want to have a voice in Minnesota’s clean energy future? Participate in the upcoming Minnesota 2025 Energy Action Plan events! CERTs will host four (4) events to gather feedback from Minnesotans statewide. Attendees will have a chance to participate in small group discussions on two of these five topics: Energy planning Industry & agriculture Buildings & energy efficiency Mobility, transportation & fuels Energy supply & grid modernization Save your spot! Register at the links below or call 612-626-0555 Mankato – October 14th Staples –... Continue reading
By Diana McKeown    September 11th, 2015
The Made in Minnesota (MiM) Solar Program is a lottery-based incentive available to Minnesotans who install solar equipment that is made in Minnesota. Metro CERT Director Diana McKeown sat down with Kim Havey, Made in Minnesota Solar Program Coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, to learn more about the program and how it’s working in the state. Diana McKeown: How do you describe the Made in Minnesota Solar Program to people? Kim Havey: Made in Minnesota (MiM) is a program designed to grow jobs within the solar industry in Minnesota and support the installation of solar... Continue reading
By Joel Haskard    September 2nd, 2015
There are now ten new solar thermal units installed on White Earth tribal members’ homes on the reservation, providing indoor space heating from the sun. “Our tribal community suffers from rampant fuel poverty and a high drain of our energy economy,” says Tom Ferrarell, project coordinator of the White Earth Solar Thermal Install and Training project. “One quarter of our tribal income is spent on energy, and since our community has the poorest county in the state of Minnesota, it is critical that we address this through two mechanisms—efficiency and local control over energy. This project... Continue reading

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