Communities across Minnesota are looking to take action on clean energy projects, but sometimes knowing where to start, who to involve, and how to get from an idea to a completed project are steps that make the process seem daunting. Making those difficult steps easier, and getting through them faster, is what the Clean Energy Accelerator is all about.
Community groups applied for support, and four projects were selected to receive targeted support from Metro CERT through the Clean Energy Accelerator. Check out the projects below!
Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub
The Chisago Area Clean Energy Hub, with leadership by Chisago County in partnership with the Chisago Lakes Area Chamber and support from Eutectics Inc., is seeking to increase the adoption of clean energy technologies and practices among public institutions, local governments, businesses and residents. In concert with this effort, the Chisago Lakes Area (the communities of Chisago, Lindstrom, Center City, Schafer and Taylors Falls), one of the eight finalists in the national “America’s Best Communities” competition, has adopted a goal to have 100% local electricity (renewable energy) by 2025. Metro CERT will assist with developing and conducting outreach strategies to increase Hub participation among residents, small and medium-sized business and congregations. Metro CERT will work with existing organizations and programs that are available for these audiences.
Partnership for Home Energy Efficiency in Suburban Ramsey County
The Neighborhood Energy Connection (NEC) has up to $400,000 available for 0% interest rate forgivable loans that can be used for deep energy efficiency upgrades within the residential market. The Metro CERT team will leverage the relationships we have with suburban cities in Ramsey County to increase the uptake of this incredible financing option in order to reduce the energy used and save money for these residents. Additionally, the cities that participate in the GreenStep Cities program will be able to get credit for a few different best practices as a result of promoting these programs to their residents. It’s a win, win, win scenario! Metro CERT will assist by co-hosting an event and supporting outreach to the cities of suburban Ramsey County where the loans are available.
Marcy-Holmes Clean Energy Outreach Project
The Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (MHNA), with leadership by its newly formed Environment Committee, is pursuing two clean energy initiatives: increasing participation in its revolving loan program for energy efficiency housing improvements, and educating community institutions on renewable energy options. Metro CERT will assist with developing outreach strategies to increase participation in the loan program and disseminating educational resources on renewable energy. Goals for the project include issuing 2-4 energy efficiency loans in the first year of conducting outreach and assisting two community institutions with pursuing renewable energy options.
Asian Media Access
Asian Media Access, a comprehensive, multimedia-based community advocacy agency, is looking to identify energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities in its building in Northeast Minneapolis, which houses 3 schools that serve at-risk youth of color. Metro CERT will assist with connecting the project team to energy efficiency and renewable energy resources and developing an action plan. Goals for the project include identifying clean energy opportunities and measuring the benefits of actions taken.
About the Accelerator
The Clean Energy Accelerator is a program through which the Metro region of the Clean Energy Resource Teams (Metro CERT), a project of the Great Plains Institute, is providing an opportunity to apply for assistance with getting community-based clean energy projects “off the ground” in 11 Minnesota counties, including Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright.