Solar & Wind News

By Lissa Pawlisch    November 17th, 2015
During the month of October, 2015, folks in Mankato, Staples, and Grand Rapids had a chance to share their input on the Minnesota 2025 Energy Action Plan. CERTs hosted these three events (as well as an event in St. Paul) to gather feedback, with attendees participating in small group discussions on two of these five topics: Energy planning Industry & agriculture Buildings & energy efficiency Mobility, transportation & fuels Energy supply & grid modernization “It was great getting input from such diverse stakeholders across the state,” said Lissa Pawlisch,... Continue reading
By Lissa Pawlisch    November 17th, 2015
It was obvious walking into the packed Mayflower Church community room on Thursday, November 12th that residents in South Minneapolis are curious about community solar gardens—there were barely any chairs left in the large room.   Overview of presentations: Attendees learned all about community solar gardens from Lissa Pawlisch, Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) Director at the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Developments Partnerships and Extension. Lissa covered all of the basics, and then delved into the specifics that residents need to know before... Continue reading
By Diana McKeown    November 9th, 2015
On October 22nd, over one hundred people attended the 9th annual gathering of the Metro CERT region. As always, the program provided information, connections to resources, and networking around community clean energy implementation. This year participants were also offered the opportunity to provide input on both the Metro CERT priorities over the next two years and the Minnesota 2025 Energy Action Plan. The Great Plains Institute—in partnership with the MN Department of Commerce, the Legislative Energy Commission, and Rocky Mountain Institute—coordinates the 2025 Energy Action... Continue reading
By Dan Thiede    October 30th, 2015
Interest in solar energy and community solar gardens has exploded this year in Minnesota, and people are hungry for tools that can help them move forward. To meet the demand, the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) has relaunched the Clean Energy Project Builder website, which helps people find companies that can help them plan, implement, and manage clean energy projects (and now much more). The most exciting new feature on the website is a directory of the available Community Solar Gardens (CSGs) in the state. People can visit the website and choose their electric utility and county to... Continue reading
By Doug Tiffany - UMN    October 29th, 2015
Since the passage of Minnesota’s 2013 solar legislation there has been a lot of interest in Community Solar Gardens (CSGs), especially in Xcel Energy’s service territory.   Who are the developers now working to build community solar gardens? In short, they are independent businesses organized to seek subscribers, raise funding, find acceptable sites, and organize the construction of solar photo-voltaic (PV) gardens up to 1 megawatt in capacity. These developers allow numerous power consumers to participate in solar energy without the hassles of installation, maintenance, and... Continue reading
By Fritz Ebinger    October 28th, 2015
USDA Rural Development State Director Colleen Landkamer today announced that USDA is awarding 34 grants that will help Minnesota rural small businesses and agricultural producers reduce energy usage and costs in their operations. Funding will go towards energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems. “As more and more rural business owners and ag producers incorporate renewable energy and energy efficient measures into their business plans, the more they contribute to the economic sustainability of rural America,” Landkamer said. “This funding will help implement these... Continue reading

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