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By Joel Haskard    October 17th, 2015
RE-fest is a celebration of green living and clean energy focused on educating the community about the positive impact individual actions can have on the environment. Last year’s celebration was Saturday, September 20th from 11am–4pm at the Mower County Fairgrounds in Austin, MN. The energy focus of the event is primarily efficiency and conservation, with renewables being high on the list. Participants have the opportunity to hear locally, regionally, and nationally renowned speakers share their knowledge of energy and resource conservation as well as engage with solar, wind and geothermal... Continue reading
By Joel Haskard    October 15th, 2015
On Thursday, October 1st, over thirty folks gathered in New London’s Little Theatre to learn about the people, organizations, and funding opportunities to help them get their clean energy projects done. Erin Smith, the West Central Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) Coordinator, led things off with a welcome and introductions. After that, a panel of utility experts gave an update on the resources and rebates they had to offer for their utility customers: Dan Tepfer, Kandiyohi Power Wes Hompe, General Manager, and Dave Opsahl, Willmar Public Utilities Ryan L. Bruers, Xcel Energy (... Continue reading
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

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