(The Center Square) – Seventy-four energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Minnesota received Clean Energy Resource Teams Seed Grants, the Minnesota Commerce Department announced Thursday.
That’s more than twice last year’s number, the release said. Minnesota legislators renewed $140,000 for the grants allocations and the department used $120,000 in U.S. Department of Energy funds. Morgan Family Foundation added $70,000. This is the 11th round of grants. More than $1.6 million has been disbursed to 467 projects since 2006, the release said.
“Seed Grants encourage community-driven projects that help people see clean energy working in their own communities and provide communities with opportunities to tangibly learn about and experience the benefits of clean energy,” the release said
The projects that received funding this year include energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and electric vehicle charging. Many involve education, outreach and community building.
“These Seed Grants will advance community initiatives, support local opportunities for jobs and training, and engage communities in reaching their clean energy goals,” CERTs Director Lissa Pawlisch said in the release.
Commerce Commissioner Grace Arnold said the projects will save money, conserve energy, grow jobs and increase communities’ resiliency.
“This year, Seed Grants with a focus on underserved communities received additional funding,” the release said.
The release said underserved communities include Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities and households that spend more than 5% of their annual income on energy costs. The average Minnesota household spends 2% of its annual income on energy, according to the release.
Many of the projects received $5,000, the awards listing showed.
The largest grant by dollar amount, $5,850 from the Commerce Department, went to the city of St. Louis Park, which wants to hire a consultant to conduct a community engagement research project on barriers to energy efficiency and rooftop solar projects in Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing properties to inform future city programs.
“The project will engage tenants about their experiences with energy burden, energy-related repairs, and displacement concerns,” its description said. “The project will also engage property owners to identify specific barriers to participating in energy efficiency, solar, and affordable housing incentive programs.”
Funding by region:
- Akiing 8th Fire: 8th Fire Crew trains and installs at Lower Sioux Indian Housing Authority – Callaway.
- Community Grassroots Solutions: Clean energy careers for St. Cloud’s Somali community – St. Cloud.
- Creator’s Place: Energy efficiency for Creator’s Place Bam’idizowigamig – Pine Point.
- Hempax: Solar microgrid test site – Ponsford.
- Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe: Electric vehicle transition project – Cass Lake.
- Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Department of Natural Resources: Electric vehicle charging station – Onamia.
- Ogema Organics: Climate smart technologies for a prepared future on White Earth – Callaway.
- Mary of Mt. Carmel Catholic School: Double door vestibule – Long Prairie.
- Unidos MN Education Fund: Energy justice Pueblitos – St. Cloud.
- All Parks Alliance For Change: Manufactured home improvement partnership program – Saint Paul.
- Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative: Solar initiative – Minneapolis.
- Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED): Energy education – Hennepin County.
- City of Bloomington: Energy resource workshops – Bloomington.
- City of Maplewood: Clean energy for all – Maplewood.
- City of St. Louis Park: Engaging NOAH property owners and tenants for more resiliency – St. Louis Park.
- Clark Grace United Church of Christ: UCC energy outreach – South St. Paul.
- Iby’s LLC: Light of Lake Street – Minneapolis.
- Just B Solar Co: Intro to solar 101– Minneapolis.
- Minneapolis Climate Action: Art and climate change: Creating partners in community solar gardens – Minneapolis.
- Northcountry Cooperative Foundation: Improving energy efficiency of manufactured homes – Anoka and Chisago Counties.
- Unidos MN Education Fund: Energy justice Pueblitos – Minneapolis.
- 40 Acre Cooperative: Solar powered hoop houses for crop protection – Rutledge.
- East Central ISD #2580: Eagles soar with solar – Finlayson.
- East Range Academy of Science and Technology: 40 kW school solar array – Mountain Iron.
- Ecolibrium3: Lincoln Park resilience hub resilient power design project – Duluth.
- Ecolibrium3: One Block — Developing environmental justice climate resilience data – Duluth.
- Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: Sustainable living tours – Cloquet.
- Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: Clean energy initiative – Grand Portage.
- Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa: Log building LED project – Grand Portage.
- Healthy Alliances Matter for All, St. Mark AME Church: Charcoal coolers at the giving garden – Duluth.
- Kanabec County Agricultural Society: Light the grounds – Mora.
- Prototypical LLC: Ten K solar microinverter adaptation project – Finland.
- Regency Park Mobile Homes: Mora energy efficiency outreach – Mora.
- Aaron’s Grocery: Cooler replacement – Fertile.
- City of Halstad: Wimmer homes insulation – Halstad.
- City of Middle River: Legacy Center energy efficiency project – Middle River.
- City of Warren: Clean energy independence; model plan for design for community regeneration – Warren.
- Halstad Municipal Utilities: Electric vehicle charging station – Halstad.
- Headwaters Music and Arts: Creating light and warmth with music and art – Bemidji.
- Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity: ReStore HVAC update – Moorhead.
- Marshall County: Electric vehicle charger – Warren.
- New Americans Integration Center: Building energy efficiency assessment and open house – East Grand Forks.
- Northcountry Cooperative Foundation: Improving energy efficiency of manufactured homes – Moorhead.
- Red Lake Charter School: Solar for Red Lake Charter School (Endazhi-Nitaawiging) – Red Lake.
- White Earth Economic Development: Naytahwaush boxing gym – White Earth.
- White Earth Land Recovery Project: Solar feasibility and building energy assessment – Callaway.
- Channel One Regional Food Bank: food bank lighting retrofit – Rochester.
- City of Houston: Community electric vehicle charging station – Houston.
- Growing Up Healthy: Clean energy resources in Spanish – Northfield.
- Healthy Community Initiative/Growing Up Healthy: It takes a community to strengthen energy efficiency – Faribault.
- Hillcrest Community Cooperative: Community building remodel – Clarks Grove.
- Hometown Resource Center: Facilities efficiency updates – St. Charles.
- Northcountry Cooperative Foundation: Improving energy efficiency of manufactured homes – Southeast MN.
- Precipitate and Community Action Center of Northfield: Energy engagement with the Hillcrest Community – Northfield.
- Project FINE: Energy efficiency outreach to refugee and immigrant populations – Winona.
- Project FINE: Understanding your energy bill – Winona.
- Regency Park Mobile Homes: Eagle Lake energy efficiency outreach – Eagle Lake.
- Rethos: Places reimagined: old home energy efficiency classes – Winona.
- Semcac: Collaboration for interpreting services of energy programs – Southeast MN.
- City of Jackson: Bike local, shop local; developing a bicycle incentive program – Jackson.
- Lower Sioux Indian Housing Authority: Akiing 8th Fire Crew trains and installs at Lower Sioux Indian Housing Authority – Morton.
- Northcountry Cooperative Foundation: Improving energy efficiency of manufactured homes – Southwest MN.
- Shetek Lutheran Ministries: Clean energy educational programs – Slayton.
- South Central Electric Association: Electric vehicle education – Windom.
- Unidos MN Education Fund: Energy justice pueblitos – Worthington.
WEST CENTRAL REGION
- Akiing 8th Fire: 8th Fire Crew trains and installs at Lower Sioux Indian Housing Authority – Morton.
- City of Morris: Energy experience pathway – Morris.
- City of Willmar: Willmar GreenStep reboot – Willmar.
- Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches: MN Venture Farms cold climate solar greenhouse – Benson and Paynesville.
- Gustavus Adolphus College: Promoting clean energy and energy efficiency In diverse communities – St. Peter.
- Paynesville Area Secondary School: Performing Arts Center lighting upgrade – Paynesville.
- Regional Fitness Center: Growing support for electric biking in Stevens County – Morris.
- University of Minnesota Morris: Intercultural sustainability leaders in energy – Morris.
- Willmar Municipal Utilities: Regency Park energy efficiency outreach – Willmar.