There are many people putting forward compelling ideas and visions for the future, and we here at the Clean Energy Resource Teams in Minnesota have been craving a little time to step back and consider these fresh perspectives and how they can contribute to the clean energy future we’re building together.
Planting seeds for community-led clean energy projects with Lissa Pawlisch & Joel Haskard
Recently, Statewide Director of the Clean Energy Resource Teams Lissa Pawlisch and co-director Joel Haskard sat down virtually for a conversation with CERTs sustainability storyteller Marie Donahue. During the interview, Pawlisch and Haskard speak about CERTs ongoing seed grant program and how this unique opportunity helps launch community-led clean energy projects across the state. The podcast episode also features project highlights from CERT regional coordinators and other staff.
The Future of Renewable Energy Siting in Minnesota - Live event recording
How will we site and build out the sheer amount of solar and wind energy needed to reach ambitious renewable energy targets while preserving farmland, expanding habitat, and maintaining the sense of place that communities have come to appreciate? That was the focus of the conversation among leading renewable energy planners and practitioners during this Energy Futures event from CERTs. Join Nathan Cummins with The Nature Conservancy, Brian Ross with Great Plains Institute, and Sarah Mills with University of Michigan as they dig into the research, discuss the issues, and surface best practices. Learn more.
Using engaged scholarship to advance clean energy - A conversation with Gabe Chan
In June 2021, Gabe Chan, Assistant Professor and lead of the Chan Lab at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs in the Twin Cities, sat down virtually for a conversation with CERTs sustainability storyteller Marie Donahue. During the interview, Chan speaks about his career path and early interests in climate change and clean energy, his approach to engaged scholarship on energy technology and policy, and current projects working to explore utility business models, community solar programs, and energy justice and equity. Learn more.
Advancing clean energy with responsible design - A conversation with Rachel Wagner
In April 2021, Rachel Wagner of through design LLC, based in Duluth, Minnesota, sat down virtually for a conversation with CERTs northeast regional coordinator Colby Abazs and sustainability storyteller Marie Donahue. Through design is a firm specializing in to-scale consulting, providing ecologically and socially conscious solutions on projects that range in scope from single family residences to comprehensive public policy, in what Wagner calls “responsible design.”
During the interview, Wagner speaks about her decades of experience working in private sector architecture and building design and the pivot she took to pursue bolder grassroots and mission-driven work. She shares about recent projects working to engage local youth and community members in green building design and solar energy through a workshop and video series supported by CERTs Seed Grants, as well as a new, collaborative Green New Deal Housing effort that seeks to address climate, social and economic inequities through energy efficient, affordable housing.
The Future of Energy Storage in Minnesota, part 2 - Live event recording
It’s clear that energy storage is necessary to reach our clean energy goals, but the amount, technologies, and applications we need are still emerging. We continued our CERTs Energy Futures events in 2021 in collaboration with the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment to talk about community-scale deployment of energy storage technologies, specific applications, workforce development, and growing the market. Lissa Pawlisch at CERTs spoke with Jessica Hellmann, Director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment; Jamez Staples, CEO of Renewable Energy Partners; and Ralph Jacobson, Chief Justice Equity Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Impact Power Solutions. Learn more
Developing clean energy cooperatively - A conversation with Timothy DenHerder-Thomas
Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, general manager of Cooperative Energy Futures, sat down virtually for a conversation with Marie Donahue, Sustainability Storyteller with CERTs. Cooperative Energy Futures is a solar energy developer and cooperative based in Minneapolis that works across Minnesota. During the interview, DenHerder-Thomas talks about his journey working on climate and clean energy issues, and Cooperative Energy Futures' vision and approach to community-scale solar energy. He gives an overview of Minnesota’s leading community solar garden program and how his organization is working with residents and communities to address energy burden and strengthen participation in the energy system. Learn more.
The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) connect individuals and communities in Minnesota to the resources they need to identify and implement community-based clean energy projects. CERTs is a partnership of University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Great Plains Institute, Southwest Regional Development Commission, and Minnesota Department of Commerce.