University of Minnesota Renewable Energy Program
In Fall 2018, several stakeholders within the Morris community participated in a two-day retreat to develop a strategic plan for our community. Our vision is to be nationally recognized as a model community and innovation leader in energy, transportation, and waste reduction and recycling. By leading in these areas, we hope to drive a more robust and vibrant economy within our agricultural and manufacturing sectors creating new businesses, jobs, and wealth for our community. Through this process, our community will become more economically and environmentally resilient. We hope to achieve this vision by:
· Producing all energy locally keeping more money within our community,
· Providing greater opportunities for local ownership of energy production,
· Inspiring a new conservation ethic for saving energy and reducing waste,
· Developing innovative educational programming for students and all community members, and
· Becoming a destination for those wanting to learn and for businesses wanting to participate.
Finally, we wish to follow the lead of our partner city, Saerbeck, Germany. Saerbeck is a European and global energy, environmental, and climate protection leader. We are following the outstanding example set by our partner city and trying to lead in new areas in which Saerbeck can also learn from us.
About the Speaker:
Renewable Energy Director
Michael Reese has been at the University of Minnesota for over 21 years and, since 2001, has served as the Director of the Renewable Energy Program at the West Central Research and Outreach Center – Morris (WCROC). He has overseen the development of the renewable energy program since its inception and has participated as Principle Investigator or Project Manager on over $18 million of research and demonstration projects including wind energy, biomass gasification, renewable hydrogen and ammonia, and solar energy systems.
Mr. Reese is leading the WCROC renewable energy program’s new strategy to reduce fossil energy consumption in agricultural production systems through incorporating renewable and efficient energy technologies. As a member of the University’s Climate Smart Municipality program, he works with the Morris Model team and partners in Saerbeck, Germany on issues related to clean energy, energy efficiency, recycling, waste reduction, and public education of these topics. In 2018, the Minnesota Senate appointed him to serve on the Legislative Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).