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Minnesota gives $5M for research grants

(The Center Square) – The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources announced $5 million in funding for 17 new Conservation Applied Research and Development grant projects 

The Center for Energy and Environment will receive $2.6 million, or about half the funds.

The winning proposals were picked from more than 40 submitted among new CARD grant projects to help Minnesotans save energy, cut energy bills and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The projects are expected to help Minnesota utilities identify new technologies to maximize energy savings, improve energy conservation programs or document the carbon dioxide reductions from energy conservation projects.

These new projects seek to help maximize energy efficiency in commercial buildings, low-income housing, multifamily buildings, and grocery stores. They aim to improve the efficiency of residential air source heat pumps; heat pump water heaters, and commercial building ventilation. Other projects research  insulation and thermal storage, inform the development of load management, district geothermal and electric vehicle programs.

Grantees include a range of nonprofit and for-profit groups, many of which have years of experience working with utilities to help them achieve energy conservation goals. The grant funds are intended to benefit the State of Minnesota and Minnesota ratepayers specifically.

The CARD grantees and their projects include:

  • $494,561 to the Center for Energy and Environment for floating suction pressure control in grocery stores.
  • $444,388 for the Center for Energy and Environment to find a cold climate solution for cost-effective decarbonization.
  • $434,635 to Center for Energy and Environment for heat pumps with thermal storage and electric space heating.
  • $407,783 to the Center for Sustainable Building Research for safe energy retrofits over inaccessible crawlspaces.
  • $388,411 to Center for Energy and Environment for packaged terminal air conditioner replacement field study.
  • $380,485 to Slipstream Group, Inc. for Indigenous communities and residential electrification pathway demonstration.
  • $359,592 to the Center for Energy and Environment for CO2 heat pump water heaters for multifamily buildings.
  • $359,060 to Michaels Energy for ventilation control using occupancy Counters.
  • $357,088 to Slipstream Group, Inc. for mapping electrical barriers, motivations, and perceptions about efficient fuel switching.
  • $299,110 to 2050 Partners for right-sizing water distribution pipes and water heating systems to save energy and reduce building costs.
  • $277,413 to the Center for Energy and Environment for establishing protocols for a commercial ERV tune-up service.
  • $257,792 to the Center for Energy and Environment for industrial process electrification through air source heat pump adoption for process loads.
  • $239,591 to the Slipstream Group, Inc. for advanced connected diagnostics for commissioning residential heat pumps and central air conditioners.
  • $222,335 to the Cadmus Group for consistent load shapes for fuel-switching tests and assessing flexible load potential.
  • $199,971 to Slipstream Group, Inc. for decarbonization for larger utility customers.
  • $182,060 to Frontier Energy, Inc. for district geothermal site selection & feasibility study.
  • $60,000 to Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. for advancing and optimizing electric vehicle adoption in Minnesota through Utility Energy Conservation and Optimization Programs.
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