CONNEXUS ENERGY’S 10 MW SOLAR + 15 MW STORAGE PROJECT
Connexus Energy’s innovative solar-plus-storage project is now fully operational. Construction at the Ramsey and Athens Township sites began last summer, and by late December, both sites were up and running. The project is one of the first in the country to use batteries integrated with a solar array to align the energy delivery to when it is most valuable. The two sites add 10 megawatts of renewables to Connexus’ energy mix with 15 megawatts of battery storage.
Most solar energy is produced when there is lower demand and the price is lower. Connexus is using the batteries to time shift the solar delivery to align with system peaks that typically occur as the sun is setting or has already set. The plan is to discharge the stored energy a couple of times per month.
ENGIE North America (formerly SoCore Energy) is handling the solar portion for Connexus, and NextEra Energy Resources, the battery storage.
Connexus Energy is the largest member-owned utility in Minnesota providing electricity and related products and services to approximately 135,000 homes and businesses in portions of Anoka, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Sherburne, and Washington counties. Additional information about Connexus Energy is available online at connexusenergy.com.
About the Speaker:
Vice President of Power Supply and Business Development
Brian Burandt is Vice President of Power Supply and Business Development for Connexus® Energy and has more than 20 years of utility experience. Connexus Energy is the largest customer-owned utility in Minnesota, providing electricity and related products and services to approximately 132,000 homes and businesses in portions of 7 different counties.
Burandt is accountable for Connexus Energy’s power supply, including distributed generation, and that it meets the current and evolving needs of the membership. He leads business development, which includes research, strategy, product, and service or venture development of core-related initiatives that benefit the membership.
Brian has held multiple positions at Connexus Energy over 18 years. Most recently, he was Connexus Energy’s manager of business and community relations, responsible for energy efficiency, demand response, and economic development. In between his positions at Connexus Energy, Burandt was a senior rate and financial analyst for Power System Engineering, Inc., performing rate studies and filings for utilities mostly in the Midwest.
Burandt has a Master in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas and a Bachelor of Science in Energy Management from Moorhead State University.
ENERGY, THE UNIVERSITY OF ST THOMAS, AND THE WORLD
Civilization depends on energy yet the very energy systems that make modern civilization possible are also hurting the planet. Hence sustainable energy is essential for modern civilization. This presentation will explore engineering at the University of St Thomas (UST), some of the energy outreach, and what is being done at UST to help secure a sustainable energy future.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Mowry grew up in Iowa and after living in Idaho for several years now resides in Minnesota along with his wonderful wife Darlene and 3 adult children. He earned a BS and MS in Metallurgical Engineering from Iowa State University. While leading the advanced recording head design teams at Seagate Technology, he earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Physics in 1995 from the University of Minnesota.
Prior to becoming a professor, Dr. Mowry spent 25 years in corporate America serving as an inventor, R&D scientist, and engineer. His most substantive corporate efforts emphasized both tape and HDD recording devices & systems research along with product development, magnetics, metrology, Nanotech design and processing, materials, lasers & optics, plus biomedical engineering.
Dr. Mowry is also an entrepreneur with experience in several startups. He is named on 40 patents and has published in four different professional fields of study.
In 2003 Dr. Mowry joined the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas and became a full professor. He teaches ME, EE, and Physics courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is the founding Director of the MSEE power program and the Director of the Renewable Energy and Alternatives Laboratory.
Professor Mowry is curious about pretty much everything. For the past 14 years his research has focused on reliable, robust, and economic microgrids, alternative energy systems, and power electronics. Microgrids have a wide variety of commercial and humanitarian applications. Humanitarian microgrid projects require non-traditional design approaches since their operation necessitates minimal human intervention and maintenance. Furthermore, the users typically become dependent on the reliable operation of these microgrids hence premature failures may have serious and negative social/political consequences.
MRES 2018 OVERVIEW AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION
Mark Weber has had a 40 year passion for renewable energy and is the current Board Chair of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society.
About the Speaker:
MRES Board Chair
Mark got his start at MRES with Jack Duffy in the 1980’s and continues his renewable energy efforts by tabling with Doug Shoemaker and contributing to various MRES events and initiatives.
Mark’s day job is in sales at Eaton Hydraulics, specializing in road construction, utility equipment and military vehicles. Mark is also a member of the Eaton Society of Inventors.
Energy Storage & the Clean Energy Transition
Ellen Anderson will discuss the important role of energy storage in our transition to a clean energy economy, how the role of energy storage is evolving, and what are the barriers and opportunities it faces. She will give an update on energy storage projects in Minnesota, and what's next in our energy transition.
About the Speaker:
Ellen Anderson is the director of the Energy Transition Lab (ETL), within the Institute on the Environment, at the University of Minnesota. ETL’s mission is to engage university and external experts to catalyze solutions to rapidly reduce carbon emissions and create Minnesota’s clean energy future.
The lab was founded by the Minnesota Energy Storage Alliance (MESA), and focuses on energy storage thought leadership, cities and energy/climate planning, energy equity, grid modernization, and renewable energy.
From 2012 to 2014, Anderson was Senior Adviser on Energy and Environment to Governor Mark Dayton and assisted the state Environmental Quality Board (EQB) on energy and environmental issues. Anderson helped to coordinate state climate change planning, and led the implementation of Governor Dayton’s Executive Order 11-32, including organizing the EQB’s Minnesota Environmental Congress and issuing Minnesota’s Environment and Energy Report Card.
In March 2011 Governor Mark Dayton appointed Anderson Chair of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, where she served until early 2012. She was a member of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment.
Anderson served in the Minnesota Senate from 1993–2011 and was re-elected five times, representing several neighborhoods of St. Paul and the city of Falcon Heights. She chaired the Jobs, Energy and Community Development Committee, the Commerce Committee, the Energy and Telecommunications Committee, and the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Finance Committee. Her signature legislation includes many energy and consumer protection laws, including the Renewable Energy Standard, Community Based Energy Development (C-BED), and co-authorship of the Next Generation Energy Act law; raising the minimum wage; co-authorship of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment; the Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Act; and the first law in the nation, now in federal law, protecting nursing mothers in the workplace. Anderson also served on the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) and the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
Anderson holds a B.A. from Carleton College and J.D. cum laude from University of Minnesota Law School. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, teaching courses in law, energy, and sustainability. She is a member of the Advisory Boards for the U of MN Joint Degree Program in Law, Science & Technology and for Climate Generation. She has served in numerous leadership and community volunteer positions and received dozens of awards for her leadership in energy, environment, and economic and social justice issues.
Most recently, Anderson received the Environmental Initiative 2018 Critical Collaborator Award, the Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association (MNSEIA) 2017 Partner Award, and 2013 Ecological Society of America Regional Policy Award for Informing Policy with Ecological Science; serves as observer to the e21 utility of the future group, member of Utility Energy Registry State Working Group and ULI Resilient Communities Council, and previously served on the Advisory Committee for the 2014 Midwest Innovation Summit and member of the Citizens League Electrical Energy Study Committee.
In her spare time, Anderson enjoys reading, travel, gardening, bicycling, hiking, and the great outdoors.
Three Things You Need to Know about the State of MN’s Sustainability Efforts
In 2017, the Governor directed the 24 cabinet level agencies to work together to meet 6 collective, measurable sustainability goals. In this presentation you will learn what these sustainability goals are, how they are being operationalized at the state, and how it is leading to never before seen accountability and transparency.
You will learn in-depth about activities in the areas of energy efficiency, renewables, and fleet electrification at the state and how we are planning for changes in markets and technology. In preparation, you may want to review the state’s first ever Enterprise Sustainability Annual Report and Fleet Action Plan online at https://mn.gov/admin/government/sustainability/pubs/
About the Presenter:
Enterprise Sustainability Planner
Marcus is the Enterprise Sustainability Planner in the Department of Administration at the State of Minnesota, developing sustainability action plans for the operations of the State in the areas of Energy, Water, Procurement, Solid Waste, Fleet, and Greenhouse Gases, and assisting agencies in developing their sustainability plans.
He was formerly the Coordinator for the New Agricultural Bioeconomy Project at the University of Minnesota, a Community Planner for the Headwaters Regional Development Commission, and has consulted on numerous sustainability related projects to help others understand technology, policy, and market forces important to their decision making.
Marcus has a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from the University of Minnesota, Morris, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Join us for the 2018 MRES Sustainable Home Tour!
The MRES Sustainable Home Tour is a free, self-guided event that is open to the public. The tour is designed to help spread knowledge of sustainable living practices by connecting homeowners to the curious public. The event consists of numerous locations state-wide that have agreed to showcase sustainable features of their homes and buildings. Learn about sustainable living practices in your community!
Supported by the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the Sustainable Home Tour is a part of a the ASES National Solar Tour, a national event highlighting renewable energy and sustainable living across the country. Stay tuned for details about the 2018 Sustainable Home Tour.
Interested in having your home on the tour? Questions or comments?
Contact Eric Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at the 2018 State Fair Eco Experience!
MRES is proud to promote solar energy in Minnesota at this year's Eco Experience. Get inspired to lead a more sustainable life with easy, everyday reduce-reuse-recycle how-tos and engaging, interactive exhibits on renewable energy, green technology, organic agriculture, transportation alternatives, healthy cooking, and clean air and water. Presented by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota State Fair.
Fight Energy Poverty with Solar
Solar energy is a powerful tool in the fight against poverty, and it can become a powerful tool for community action agencies. In partnership with community action agencies across the country, RREAL has been delivering solar energy to low-income communities.
We are forging a new, nationally relevant model of low-income energy assistance that is fiscally responsible and environmentally appropriate. Come learn about model programs that are successfully integrating solar energy into the energy assistance and weatherization community. Come learn about efforts to fight energy poverty with solar power!
About the Presenter:
PV Business Development
Mike has a passion for work that is worth doing. After 25 years in telecommunications and 10 years in Oil & Gas, Mike has finally made his way to REAL Solar. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering, he is a NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate, an MREA Certified Site Assessor and is really happy to help people take the steps that will help them cut their energy costs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Mike loves singing, swimming and long drives around the upper midwest.
The Minnesota Solar Congress is a free public conference that brings together solar supporters from across the state. It’s an opportunity to learn, share stories, and celebrate solar energy in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Solar Congress is hosted by Solar United Neighbors, in partnership with the West Central Research and Outreach Center, the University of Minnesota Morris, the Minnesota Farmers Union, Renewing the Countryside, and Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs). Our first annual event will focus on solar opportunities in rural communities, for farms, businesses, and homes.
The day will include a series of presentations about solar technology, including solar 101, the economics of solar for farmers, solar + battery storage, the state of solar in Minnesota, and much more! The event will conclude with a tour of the innovative clean energy projects at the West Central Research and Outreach Center.
The Green Economy as an Economic Development Tool
Minnesota has some of the largest racial disparity gaps in the country in terms of education, economic participation, income, employment, homeownership, and others; The green economy presents a unique opportunity to address climate change and poverty, and reduce these plaguing disparities, all at the same time.
By way of personal and professional experience, Jamez Staples has been working to create an equitable future for people of color while mitigating climate change. His lively talk will highlight Renewable Energy Partners and what they have been actively doing to create positive changes.
About the Presenter:
Jamez Staples is President and CEO of Renewable Energy Partners, a minority-owned solar installation and development company, focused on creating opportunities for communities of color to participate in the renewable energy sector.
Staples holds an AA from Normandale Community College and a BA in Business and Marketing from Concordia University.
Staples has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally for his work: Green for All/Climate Champion, Rocky Mountain Institute E-Lab, 40 under 40 Change Maker, Humphrey Policy Institute Fellow, Dr. Josie Johnson Fellow (AALF).
Staples serves on multiple volunteer committees/boards, which include: Old Highland Neighborhood Association, Chair of the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) North Minneapolis Promise Zone, The City of Minneapolis Energy Vision Advisory Committee (EVAC) which informs (first of its kind) the Clean Energy Partnership, and the Metropolitan Council Transportation Advisory Board (TAB).
Staples is also founder of Northgate Development a real estate development firm responsible for the Minneapolis Apprenticeship Training Center in North Minneapolis (MATC). The MATC is a centralized location where adults, and students of the Minneapolis Public School System will have the ability to get hands on career and technical education following the CTECH model that is based in Rochester, MN.
The MATC is the first project along the East Plymouth Innovation Corridor (EPIC). Developments in Process:
1) City of Minneapolis Low income Community Solar Garden roof top of North High School. 1 MGW serves low income households with the City of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Public School District as a backup subscriber.
2) Old Home Plaza Community Solar 155 kw system on the recently converted Old Home Creamery which was recently converted to low income housing project.
3) Homework Studios art gallery in North Minneapolis.
4) Emerge second chance building a community solar garden.
5) Minneapolis Apprenticeship Training Center 150 kw system.
Live in Mahtomedi, White Bear Lake, or surrounding cities and want to go solar? Now's your chance!
Neighbors across the area have formed the Mahtomedi Area Solar Co-op with the help of Solar United Neighbors, Conservation Minnesota, and the Mahtomedi Area Green Initiative to make it easier to save money on the purchase of solar panels, while building a community of local solar supporters.
Join us for a free information session to learn about solar energy, as well as how the co-op simplifies the process of going solar while providing a discount through its bulk purchasing power. The Citizens Utility Board will also present on how to read your utility bill both before and after rooftop solar.
Minnesota Solar Pathways: Opportunities for widespread solar development in Minnesota
What portends for Minnesota’s solar industry as solar generation becomes a significant part of Minnesota’s energy portfolio? Do we face a “duck curve” future? Can storage and demand-side management create a predictable solar generation profile? How do electric vehicles fit in to an advanced solar future?
The Minnesota Solar Pathways project’s first year findings shed light on these questions and others about meeting Minnesota’s 10% by 2030 solar goal. Stacy and Brian will introduce the project’s next phase, which will take a more comprehensive look at value propositions and deployment opportunities in Minnesota’s distinct geographic and market areas.
About the Presenters:
Stacy Miller is the Solar Policy Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Commerce Division of Energy Resources. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Arizona State University and a Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
At the Division of Energy Resources she offers solar policy support and administers various solar programs for the state including the Minnesota Solar Pathways: Illuminating pathways to 10% solar initiative. Stacy was the 2017 recipient of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association’s Ralph Jacobson Lifetime Achievement Award. She began her renewable energy career with the University of Toledo in 1995—one of the leading thin film photovoltaic research institutions in the country.
Brian has 30 years of experience working on clean energy, from local government policy and regulation, to state policy and rules including energy utility regulation. Brian currently leads the Great Plains Institute’s solar energy market transformation efforts across the Midwest and nationally, and local and regional technical assistance programs to implement sustainable practices for clean and resilient energy development and climate protection.
Brian currently manages the stakeholder engagement process and facilitates the technical committee for the MN Solar Pathways project, a 3-year initiative to model and evaluate solar deployment strategies to meet Minnesota’s statutory 10%-by-2030 solar target. In the distant past, Brian worked extensively in energy and utility regulation, serving as an expert witness in cost of service and rate design, energy efficiency and renewables, fuel cost reconciliations, and integrated resource planning.
Electric Vehicles, Solar and Residential Storage
According to the latest survey from AAA, one in five Americans say they are likely to buy an electric car for their next new vehicle and last month over 55% of vehicles sold in Norway were electric. A few years ago we had to choose from just half a dozen PEV models, but now we have 25 PEV models available in the Midwest.
Public charging infrastructure networks are growing fast and utility companies are getting involved. So transportation electrification is really happening. In this presentation I will talk about how the EV revolution is happening here in Minnesota, and also share some experiences on how residential solar and storage work with EV charging.
Jukka Kukkonen is the founder of PlugInConnect, a Minnesota based electric vehicle market and technology consulting firm. He has helped organizations to build successful strategies for the rapidly developing PEV market in the areas of apartment, condominium, workplace and DC fast charging. Jukka has given dozens of EV presentations and workshops since 2010. He has trained various stakeholders from architects and auto salespeople to utility company personnel and public utility commission staff. In 2012 he started the MN PEV Owners Circle that has grown to become one of the largest and most active regional plug-in vehicle owner groups in the nation. In 2012, Jukka was honored with a Certificate of Recognition from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's office for his work with the EV market in Minnesota, and in 2013 he received the Sustainable St Paul Award.
The 2018 Midwest Solar Expo returns to Minneapolis for its 5th annual conference, exhibition and Smart Energy Symposium. Join us as we continue to drive the conversation on the Midwest solar market - gain insights from industry experts, receive hands-on product training, enjoy Happy Hour and entertainment while networking with 400+ solar professionals from across the value chain.
Visit www.midwestsolarexpo.com to learn more.
On the 31st annual home tour showing “real homes, real people, real ideas,” attendees will get to experience over 50 homes spanning both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. On the tour, residents open their doors to show practical ideas for remodeling every room in the house, creative ways of finding or adding useful space, or building new to stay in the neighborhoods they love. The tour is free and self-guided Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, April 29 from 1-5 p.m.
Learn more: www.msphometour.com
**MRES Now Meets on the Third Thursday of Every Month**
“MnSEIA Solar Policy Talk: The Legislature and PUC”
The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association's Policy & Development Director, David Shaffer, will present on the political opportunities and challenges facing Minnesota's solar industry in 2018. His overview will touch upon solar on schools, commercial deployment, community solar, energy storage and more. Even though 2018 is a short legislative session there is plenty to do for the solar industry. Don't miss out on anything impacting one of Minnesota's fastest growing economic sectors! Questions encouraged.
About the Speaker
Policy and Development Director for the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association
David Shaffer is the Policy and Development Director for the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association. He is a graduate of Vermont Law School, is authorized to practice law in Minnesota and is a registered lobbyist for MnSEIA. His work at the state legislative and agency levels has resulted in increases in solar incentive programs, the implementation of successful policy work that helped create over 200MW of community solar throughout Xcel Energy's Minnesota service territory, and many other pro-solar policies. He is also who you should contact for membership in MnSEIA.
More and more communities, organizations, and individuals are trying to figure out how they can get energy efficiency and renewable energy projects done.
The CERTs 2018 Conference on March 28-29 at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center provides the resources and connections needed to make it happen. Who wouldn’t want to save energy, cut costs, and be part of Minnesota’s fastest growing jobs sector?
Learn more about the Conference: www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/events/certs2018
“With everything going on, how can I be so optimistic about the future of clean energy?”
Learn where we are today with solar, how we got here, and the hurdles we face in implementing solar subjects like VOST, storm water mitigation, and labor issues from Solar Specialist, Jack Kluempke. He will also discuss exciting technologies, like blockchain technology and Perovskites solar cells, and why he's so optimistic about the future.
About the Speaker
Jack earned his B.S. Degree in Finance/Management from St. John’s University, he also holds an A.A.S. Degree in Energy Technology from Saint Cloud Technical and Community College. Additional solar education includes graduating from the Saint Paul College’s Solar PV Design and Technical Sales program, MRES’s Solar Site Assessment Certification training in both PV and Solar Thermal. He earned his NABCEP certification in Solar Sales.
Jack is currently the Solar Financing Specialist at the Minnesota Department of Commerce, he has been with the Department for four and a half years. Prior to that he and his brother in law started Array Solar, at solar equipment wholesale company.
“Renewable Energy Development at the University of Minnesota”
With 80,000 people, 1000 acres, 250 buildings, and 24 million square feet of space, the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus is almost like a city. All those people and facilities consume a significant amount of energy in order for the University to fulfill its mission of teaching, research, and outreach. Come learn how the University is meeting some of that energy demand with renewable electricity while working to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2050.
About the Speaker
Director of Sustainability
University of Minnesota
Shane Stennes is the Director of Sustainability at the University of Minnesota. In this role, Shane works with staff, students, and faculty to advance campus sustainability, particularly as it relates to energy, food, construction, transportation, water, and waste management systems. For the past two years Shane has been leading the campus' renewable energy program, which currently has contracts for over 57,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity in 2018. Prior to becoming Director of Sustainability in 2015, Shane served in a variety of related roles including Chief Administrative Officer for the University's Facilities Management department and Human Resource Manager for University operations. Shane has a BA in Political Science and International Relations from St. John’s University and the College of St. Benedict, and a Master of Human Resources degree from the University of South Carolina.
“Xcel Energy's Clean Energy Future”
Join Xcel Energy's Manager of Renewable Choice Programs, Kerry Klemm, for an overview of Xcel Energy's ambitious plans to grow renewable energy to 44% renewable and 77% carbon free in the next five years while keeping customer bills low. Learn about how Xcel Energy's customer choice renewables lead the nation and what options you have to personally engage in renewable energy, with time for questions and conversation at the end.
About the Speaker
Manager of Renewable Choice Programs
Kerry Klemm currently leads the implementation of Xcel Energy's Renewable / Choice Programs across the company, including private solar programs, community solar, green pricing, EV and time-based rate plans. A long-term Xcel Energy employee, Kerry has enjoyed managing energy-efficiency programs, leading Xcel Energy's product development initiatives and spearheading DSM/energy-efficiency advertising and communication efforts. When not busy reminding folks that "it's always sunny in solar", Kerry enjoys reading, hiking and exploring the Boundary Waters with her family.
Thursday, November 9, 2017
“Why are renewables a threat to sustainability. And why they're not”
In his presentation, Thomas Guibentif will introduce this and other situations when renewable energy deployment has backfired.