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By Isaac Mielke    August 21st, 2015
Tesla generated much publicity after its April introduction of the Powerwall. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it stores electricity for consumption, load shifting, and backup power. Intended for residential purposes, Tesla has partnered with SolarCity to sell the 10 kWh Powerwall systems for $5,000. The Powerwall can store solar energy from your solar panels and act as a backup power source during a power failure. It collects cheap energy from off-peak hours and releases it during peak consumption time, flattening demand spikes and saving money. Powered by renewable energy, this... Continue reading
By Jesse Thorson    August 6th, 2015
The Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood of Linden Hills wants to do what it can to tap into renewable energy, and community solar is sure to be its next move. Jamie Long, member of the Linden Hills Neighborhood Council and board member of Linden Hills Power and Light, said that these two groups partnered to work on this mutual interest in 2013, advocating within the community for a solar alternative and exploring options for how to make it happen. Mr. Long explained that community solar was appealing because it presented the opportunity to make solar power an option for homeowners and... Continue reading
By Sarah Hayden Shaw    August 4th, 2015
On a sunny afternoon July 9, 2015, four regions of Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) and Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) co-hosted an event on community solar gardens (CSGs) at LREC’s facility in Pelican Rapids. Open to the public, the event included a discussion on CSGs, a panel of northern and central Minnesotan utilities to review their community solar efforts, and a tour of LREC’s Community Solar Installation. Students, local community members and leaders from utilities, businesses, and schools networked over lemonade. After a welcome from CERTs and LREC, Dan Husted, VP... Continue reading
By MN Dept. of Commerce    July 16th, 2015
The Minnesota Department of Commerce has just announced two new financing programs that are available for local governments and public entities in the state interested in pursuing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. New Rev It Up Program to help local government units finance community energy efficiency, renewable energy projects   Through its new Rev It Up Program, the Minnesota Department of Commerce is soliciting request for proposals from local government units that are seeking low-cost, long-term capital to finance community energy efficiency and renewable energy... Continue reading
By Joel Haskard    July 14th, 2015
In partnership with Beltrami Wellness Education for Long Life (B-WELL), the Rail River Folk School (RRFS) and Harmony Food Cooperative (HFC) in Bemidji, Minnesota recently completed energy audits with help from CERTs.   THE PROCESS   On February 18, 2014, Affordable Energy Solutions—a local Bemidji business—conducted energy audits at both RRFS and HFC. The audits began with basic information gathering from energy bills and facility dimensions, and proceed to take a look at the building envelope, heating and cooling systems, appliances and equipment, and behavioral... Continue reading
By Fritz Ebinger    July 14th, 2015
Fritz Ebinger at CERTs joined Dan Hoffman with KSMQ TV’s Farm Connections and Jack Hedin of Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables recently to learn more about the farm’s solar installation and offer some insights for other producers thinking about solar. Click play below to watch the video. Highlights from the video: Jack Hedin with Featherstone shared that their 38 kW solar PV installation is meeting their expectiations. They used American-made panels and they are producing even better than the installer projected. Their grid-tied system cost $250,000 and had a payback... Continue reading

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