Upcoming Classes & Workshops
Monthly Guest Speaker
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Biofuels and Biomass in Minnesota
Brendan Jordan will give a presentation about Minnesota's opportunity to create a vibrant renewable chemicals, advanced biofuels, and biomass thermal energy industry. Minnesota has a world-class industry cluster, and our companies have brought in over $200 million in venture capital investment in the past few years. We have the opportunity to move beyond Twin Cities R&D facilities, and start commercial-scale production. A U of M study indicates that this could result in nearly $900 million in new economic activity. Brendan will talk about the opportunity to grow this new renewable industry in MN, and what needs to happen to make it a reality.
Recent MRES News, Stories, and Discussion
Submitted by Laura Burrington on Mon, 09/29/2014 - 2:12pm
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society has been awarded a Renewable Development Fund (RDF) grant to build two community solar gardens (CSGs) in Xcel Energy Minnesota territory. One garden will be sited in an urban setting and one will be sited in a more rural area.
Goals of this project will be to pilot CSG installation practices by non-profit community entities, evaluate the market value of local versus remote CSG participation, provide targeted and broad education around the concept of CSGs in Minnesota, and publicly document the critical path decision-making that public or non-profit entities must attend to in order to realize a successful installation and attract subscribers.
Submitted by Laura Burrington on Wed, 09/24/2014 - 10:39am
Sierra Club volunteers recently completed a survey of Minnesota municipalities and their solar permitting process and found some common barriers to improved permitting. Permits are part of the "soft costs" that account for 64% of the total costs of installing residential solar projects. Reducing these "soft costs" is as important as providing incentives for the panels themselves; hence the webinar and policy proposals like standard permitting or solar friendly communities.
Submitted by Laura Burrington on Fri, 09/05/2014 - 12:33pm
Homes, farms, businesses, schools and even governments in greater Minnesota are opening their doors to the public next month. Come and learn about renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building techniques and sustainability from people who own, live in, or work with renewable energy on Saturday, October 4th. The tour is free, open to the public and self-guided. Check out sites in your area of the state on the MRES website, plan your route and stop by between 10 am and 4pm. At the writing of this article we have exemplary sites as far north as Ely, east to Wisconsin, south to Winona, west to Granite Falls, and many in the heart of Minnesota.
Submitted by Eric Jensen on Wed, 09/03/2014 - 3:36pm
It's hard to believe and harder to hear, but summer is winding down and Fall is just around the corner. It might not be the time yet to put up window film and get out the winter coats, but it is the time to think about a bigger project while the weather is still friendly. And there's some surprising and good news out there, Made in Minnesota solar thermal rebates are still available.
Submitted by Laura Burrington on Wed, 09/03/2014 - 3:17pm
Join a bus tour of some of Duluth’s solar energy production sites on Saturday, October 4th. We’ll check out a variety of solar projects in the area – on a home, atop St. Louis County buildings, at the University of Minnesota Duluth & at the Hartley Nature Center. We’ll also drive-by the site of a future community solar garden. This is a great way to find out more about how Minnesota’s strong clean energy policies and solar potential have made Minnesota a solar leader. And it will be a great chance to talk to folks about how solar is saving money and reducing pollution!
Submitted by Laura Burrington on Wed, 09/03/2014 - 12:32pm
Scott Randall, principal at MRES business member Apex Solar, has been involved with solar for a while now. "I just couldn’t believe what a good deal solar was for customers." Apex Solar, the company Randall runs with his son, have taken this philosophy to the installations they do for homes and businesses in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota. "Most installers concentrate in PV systems’, said Randall, ‘We do everything: PV, thermal systems (both air & water), off grid battery systems, swimming pool heating systems and energy analysis. Before we design a system, we take a month to analyze the customer’s needs and understand their energy demands. Combining the analysis and the range of systems we offer gives the customer the best system possible."