Solar & Wind News

By Joel Haskard    September 22nd, 2016
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson proclaimed August 26th to be “Solar Storage Awareness Day” in Duluth during the commissioning ceremony of a new solar PV and battery storage system at the Hartley Nature Center. We spoke with Bret Pence, project specialist with Ecolibrium3 and co-leader on the Hartley Nature Center Solar Plus Storage Upgrade project, which can now store 14.2 kWh of energy. What was your role in this project?   Bret Pence: I was a member of the project coordination team, along with many others, including Alison Hoxie (UMD). Ecolibrium3 was perhaps the initial... Continue reading
By Trevor Drake    September 22nd, 2016
On September 20th, 2016 nearly 40 people gathered at the Shoreview Community Center to learn about community solar gardens and network with experts and developers. Community Solar Gardens are centrally located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that produce electricity for participating subscribers. They’re great for people that want to go solar but are unable to do so on their own. Attendees lived in an apartments, had shaded roofs at home, or didn’t have space at their organizations for solar.   Workshop Agenda: Mike Rehm from the Neighborhood Energy Connection kicked... Continue reading
By Anna Carlson    September 21st, 2016
Bemidji State University was a hotbed of clean energy activity on August 31st as folks gathered for two consecutive events. First up was the Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP) meeting, where over 40 attendees gathered to learn about clean energy projects in Bemidji. First they heard about the City of Bemidji’s $2.4 million Guaranteed Energy Savings Program project, with Jesse Robertson and Nate Mathews from the city giving an overview of the project as it has unfolded. Regarding the new LED street lighting, City Manager Mathews noted, “Downtown businesses love it... Continue reading
By Sarah Hayden Shaw    September 20th, 2016
This summer Central CERT had the opportunity to work with Connor Schaefer, a Masters student at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Connor did all sorts of research for CERTs on community solar gardens, and we wanted to take an opportunity to share a compendium of resources that Connor compiled. Enjoy!   Community Solar Garden Resource Guide   There is a wealth of information regarding community solar gardens available from various sources, and we have categorized them as Tools & Resources, Guides & Reports, Articles &... Continue reading
By Joel Haskard    September 19th, 2016
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society’s Sustainable Home Tour (formerly known as the Solar Tour) has annually featured energy efficient, renewably powered, and all around sustainable homes around Minnesota for 25+ years. This year the Sustainable Home Tour will be on Saturday October 1, 2016 with hours from 10am to 3pm. We chatted with Chris Meyer, SE CERT Coordinator and organizer of the Greater Minnesota portion of the Sustainable Home Tour. How can learn more about the various sites?   Chris Meyer: People can explore the site features and locations of our 30+... Continue reading
By Dan Thiede    September 9th, 2016
The School of Music & Mayhem in West Lakeland, MN recently flipped the switch on a new solar PV system that covers 100% of their needs, becoming the first music school in the Midwest to be powered entirely by the sun! Rock on! To commemorate the event, owner Joe Schertz and eight of his students wrote and recorded a Solar Suite song that is long— minutes and 20 seconds long to be exact. Why 8 minutes and 20 seconds? That’s the time it takes a photon to burst off the surface of the sun, travel through space, then land on the school’s solar panels. Listen to the... Continue reading

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