Clean Energy Resource Teams
Community members from around the state have developed a bold vision for Minnesota's energy future, through greater energy efficiency and production from clean 21st century technologies including wind, biomass, and solar power. Minnesotans' vision is becoming a reality now, one project at a time. The CERTs project, launched in 2003, is connecting people with the technical resources needed to identify and implement community-scale energy efficiency and clean energy projects.
Visit the CERTs' website, www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org
, for more information.
CERTs wins national 2009 Champions of Sustainability in Communities Award
Since its inception in 2003, CERTs has spawned numerous networks, provided education and helped catalyze projects. Although many of these collaborative efforts are hard to track, here are a few milestones:
The development of Regional Strategic Clean Energy Team Plans in each of the six greater Minnesota CERT regions.
Over 600 individuals participating in CERT meetings and educational forums across the state; together they have volunteered over 9,500 hours towards CERTs projects.
The CERTs website, www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org, has been a tremendous success attracting 16,000 new visitors each year.
The awarding of the Minnesota Environment Initative's Partnership of the Year award for the diverse collection of stakeholders the project has mobilized.
During 2006 CERTs issued small grants to each CERT region. Our citizen-lead teams decided to partially fund 17 of the 20 proposals received. These projects, often with as little as $1,000, leveraged additional funding within their communities and moved forward with the dedication of CERT volunteers and community leaders.
CERT Teams: Assisting Minnesotans to Build a Clean Energy Future
Each of the 7 regional CERT teams have created their own operating procedures, but they all have some common elements. All teams are citizen-led, with staffing support provided by staff from the Regional Partnerships, the Green Institute, and the Southwest Regional Development Commission. Some of the common elements of the CERT teams include:
- Purpose-driven: To connect citizens with the technical resources they need to identify and implement community-scale energy efficiency and clean energy projects, in cooperation with CERTs partners.
- Structure: Comprised of a Steering Committee; Officers and Advisory Boards; Staff; Base operation funding provided by the Minnesota Department of Commerce.
- Meetings: Teams meet quarterly; Steering Committees more often.
- Funding for Projects Review: The Steering Committees assist in the review of project proposals for regional seed grant funding for clean energy projects.