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Solar & Wind News

By Frank Jossi    December 11th, 2015
This post was originally published in Midwest Energy News by Frank Jossi. One year after Xcel Energy’s community solar program was launched in Minnesota, only one project—out of more than 1,500 proposed—has been built. But the utility, as well as solar backers in the state, expect the pace to pick up significantly in the coming year. Xcel has sent out 120 megawatts of interconnection agreements and received signed documents from 46 applicants representing 43 MW at 13 sites, said Lee Gabler, senior director of customer strategy and solutions. Once those agreements... Continue reading
By Joel Haskard    December 10th, 2015
See what we did there with the blog post title? REAP also stands for Rural Energy for American Program, a grant and loan offering from USDA Rural Development that can help farmers and rural small businesses do renewable energy and energy efficiency work. As a new deadline is approaching on May 2, 2016, we thought it would be timely to check in with Ron Omann, Minnesota’s State Energy Coordinator with USDA Rural Development, to get all of the necessary details. Joel Haskard: What was REAP funding like for Minnesota this last round? Ron Omann: Rural Development was able to... Continue reading
By Jamie Johnson    December 3rd, 2015
While we shouldn’t thank our forefathers for leaving behind landfills and the environmental consequences that accompany them, it is becoming increasingly possible to see some green among those brownfields. In the City of Hutchinson, this green to brown transformation is underway. With a solar field just beginning operations on a former landfill, there is quite a green and golden lining to a brown past. Built on the site of a 1970s era city dump, the 400 kilowatt array just hooked up, behind the meter, to the wastewater treatment plant next door, helping offset energy use for the city’s... Continue reading
By Michelle Palm    December 3rd, 2015
Friday the 13th turned out to be a great day in Rushford, Minnesota, home to Tri-County Electric Cooperative. After a handful of informative presentations about community solar gardens, attendees got to tour TEC’s own Renewable Ray installation. Lissa Pawlisch, director of the Clean Energy Resource Teams, started the event with a Community Solar Gardens 101 lesson, explaining the differences often seen between Co-ops, Municipal Utilities and Investor-Owned Utilities. With that background in place, Ted Kjos, vice president of marketing and external relations for Tri-County Elecric... Continue reading
By Dan Thiede    December 3rd, 2015
Solar is hot, hot, hot right now in Minnesota, and we wanted to share three recent developments featured in the news this week. Keep on reading to see each story, and click through to learn more!   Minnesota town’s solar project more about saving green than being green By Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News After speaking to several solar developers earlier this year, a Minnesota town decided last month to subscribe to a community solar garden that will be operated by Sunshare. Jordan, a community of 6,148 residents southwest of Minneapolis,... Continue reading
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

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