Greenway Office Building in Minneapolis Adds Solar Electric System Using PACE Financing

November 7, 2016 in Communities, Electricity Author: Diana McKeown

*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.*

Built in 1999, the Greenway Office Building (GPI is a key building tenant) includes solar PV, geothermal heating and cooling, and a green roof. Constructed to many of the design points of LEED (Leadership Energy Efficient Design) this ENERGY STAR building hosts many nonprofit and for-profit tenants working toward better housing and a more energy independent future. Wellington Management recently utilized PACE financing to replace the building’s aging solar PV array. Continue reading »

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

August 5, 2016 in Communities Author: Diana McKeown

Sun GraphicAs 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 >>

*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.*

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.

Andersen Windows: Sustainability Champs and Energy Stars!

April 20, 2016 in Efficiency Author: Diana McKeown

About Andersen Corporation

Andersen Corporation is a 113 year-old Minnesota window and door manufacturing company located on the scenic St. Croix River. According to its website, the company was founded by Danish immigrant Hans Andersen and his family in Hudson, Wisconsin. Andersen is one of the most prominent window manufacturing companies in the country; most people have, or know someone who has Andersen Windows in their home or business. Continue reading »

Ideas ‘Tossed’ Around at Metro CERT Annual Event

November 5, 2015 in Communities Author: Diana McKeown

On October 22nd, over one hundred people attended the 9th annual gathering of the Metro CERT region. As always, the program provided information, connections to resources and networking around community clean energy implementation. This year, participants were also offered the opportunity to provide input on both the Metro CERT priorities over the next two years and the Minnesota 2025 Energy Action Plan. The Great Plains Institute, in partnership with the MN Department of Commerce, the Legislative Energy Commission, and Rocky Mountain Institute, coordinates the 2025 Energy Action Plan. Continue reading »

Made in Minnesota Solar Program Interview with Department of Commerce

September 16, 2015 in Communities Author: Diana McKeown

Diana McKeown: How do you describe the Made in Minnesota Solar Program to people?

Kim Havey: Made in Minnesota (MiM) is a program designed to grow jobs within the solar industry in Minnesota and support the installation of solar PV and thermal for residents and businesses. The program is ideally designed for residential and business rooftop solar installations but also can be used for ground mounted installations, which is ideal for farms. Legislation in 2013 launched MiM, with two existing solar PV manufacturers but now the program includes four Minnesota based PV manufacturers and a broad range of solar modules. Continue reading »

Seed Grants Now Available for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects!

September 3, 2015 in Communities Author: Diana McKeown

On August 24, 2015 the Statewide CERTs Partnership, including the Great Plains Institute, released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking applications for limited financial assistance for community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. This funding is for LABOR COSTS ONLY for all seven CERTs regions, which cover the entire state of Minnesota. The primary objective of these funds is to spur action on local clean energy projects.
Continue reading »