Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub Partnering to Drive $40-$60M of Investments in Solar, Efficiency


Post date: August 5, 2016

*This post originally appeared on the Clean Energy Resource Teams website here. To learn more about Metro CERT, please visit GPI's Metro CERT project page here.*

As part of our efforts to advance clean energy in the 11-county metro area, Metro CERT is supporting a community-wide effort in Chisago County to engage residents, businesses, cities, and institutions to stop wasting energy dollars and create more sustainable energy from renewable sources such as solar energy via the Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub.

While the audience is broadly Chisago County, the Chisago Lakes Area (spanning the cities of Chisago, Lindstrom, Center City, Shafer, and Taylors Falls) became one of 50 communities in the nation to receive $50,000 from the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition to develop a Community Revitalization Plan. Then, in April 2016, the Chisago Lakes Area became one of eight finalists awarded $100,000 to implement their Plan. They are now competing to be one of the top three communities awarded $1, $2, and $3 million, respectively.

The Chisago Lakes Area effort is being led by the Chisago Lakes Chamber and Chisago County HRA-EDA which has hired Eutectics to support their efforts specifically related to clean energy (Eutectics is also supporting the City of Morris in a similar effort that received a West Central CERT Seed Grant).

The Economic Development Committee of the Chisago Lakes ABC competition has a stated goal of generating $40-$60M of investment in solar and energy efficiency projects while achieving energy self-sufficiency by 2025 for the Chisago Lake Area. To help meet this goal, the Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub was created.

The Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub provides technical assistance, pre-qualified clean energy contractors, and professional guidance from start to finish on all qualified projects. The Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub is a partnership between Eutectics, Chisago County HRA-EDA, Metro Clean Energy Resource Teams (Metro CERT), Chisago Lakes Chamber, and America’s Best Communities committee, and is sponsored by Metro CERT.

Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub partners.

“The Clean Energy Hub is a great resource for businesses because it can help their bottom lines by lowering energy costs while attracting new businesses to clean energy,” said Nancy Hoffman, executive director of the Chisago County HRA-EDA.

The Chisago Clean Energy Hub will provide the following benefits:

  • No-commitment energy assessments and technical assistance at little or no cost
  • A list of Hub prequalified contractors, ensuring capable and professional service from service providers with a proven track record
  • Multiple financing options to make clean energy cost-effective
  • Monitoring collective progress toward the broader community goals


Metro CERT conducting intercept surveys in Chisago Lakes Area to learn more about local clean energy interest.

The Metro CERT team has been approached via applications for Seed Grants and the Clean Energy Accelerator from the Chisago Area to assist with outreach and engagement related to clean energy on the ground. As part of this project, MetroCERT has already provided support, including planning for outreach to residents, businesses and congregations, as well as other communications. Metro CERT will continue to support the project as one of four Clean Energy Accelerator projects.

Click here to learn more about the Hub on their website and sign up to participate >>


About Metro CERT

The Great Plains Institute directs the Metro Clean Energy Resource Team (Metro CERT), that is part of a statewide partnership with a shared mission to connect individuals and their communities to the resources they need to identify and implement community-based clean energy projects.

Metro CERT serves the 11-county Twin Cities metropolitan area by empowering communities and their members to adopt energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies and practices for their homes, businesses, and local institutions.