(The Center Square) – The Clean Energy Resource Teams is awarding seed grants to 45 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects across Minnesota.
From Comfrey to Crookston, Welch to Wrenshall, communities are being funded for various projects ranging from educational outreach on clean energy incentives to energy efficiency for manufactured homes to skill-building for clean energy careers.
CERTs Seed Grants strive to support historically underserved communities, which include Minnesota populations with high energy burdens, where households spend more than 5% of their annual income on energy costs. For example, one project engages residents of manufactured homes to ensure their spaces are winter weather-ready.
Financial and programmatic support comes from the Minnesota Department of Commerce Energy Conservation and Optimization Program and the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program, with $245,000 allocated for 2024 CERTs Seed Grants. The Morgan Family Foundation continues its support with an additional $56,000, and $43,000 will be distributed among the projects in each of the seven regions of Minnesota.
“This new round of CERTs Seed Grants will support community-identified initiatives, help provide jobs and training opportunities, plus engage communities in reaching their clean energy goals,” CERTs co-director Joel Haskard said in a statement.
CERTs Seed Grants encourage projects that help people see clean energy projects. With over $1.98 million awarded to 509 projects since 2006, the newly funded 2024 projects will provide Minnesota communities with more opportunities to learn about and experience the benefits of clean energy.
Deputy Commissioner of Energy Resources at the Minnesota Department of Commerce Michelle Gransee welcomed the funding.
“The innovations that come from these seed grants add to the momentum of our actions to transition to a clean energy future in Minnesota,” Gransee said in a statement. “The range of ideas we see here shows the ability to find creative solutions. These projects support efforts across Minnesota to advance a cleaner, more equitable, resilient Minnesota for the future.”
The complete list of funded projects, with descriptions and grant amounts, is available here.
Minnesota aims to achieve a 100% clean energy standard by 2040.
In 2022, The U.S. Energy Information Administration says renewable resources supplied 31% of Minnesota’s total in-state electricity generation, three-fourths of it from wind.