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HOG THE SUN: Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota

Message from Fritz Ebinger, Clean Energy Resource Teams

The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), a statewide energy partnership of the University of Minnesota Extension Regional Partnerships, among others, is interested in collaborating with a group of agricultural producers in Blue Earth and/or Martin Counties. CERTs' mission is to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy with Minnesota communities. Part of our work includes offering free assistance to farmers and rural small businesses to understand their clean energy options. CERTs is offering additional assistance to farmers in Blue Earth and/or Martin Counties to advance informed solar decision making and to potentially coordinate a group solar purchase effort to realize project cost savings.
Through Renewable Energy for Greater Minnesota, CERTs provides free project assistance, including in-person site visits to help farm operators prioritize which renewable energy technologies best align with their farm business operation. These renewable energy site assessments also identify best-bet energy efficiency opportunities. Site assessments include a review of the farm's electric service, main meter, and subpanels to determine solar electric compatibility. Additionally, CERTs staff help farmers identify the most suitable locations for solar arrays and how best to connect behind their electric meter to power the farm.

Using farm site solar data, the electric rates and charges, and farm consumption patterns, CERTs staff can provide detailed solar financial models for farmers. These reports aide farmers in determining whether solar energy could be the right investment for the farm operation.

CERTs would like to partner with a group of farmers interested in addressing long-term farm energy costs through solar. We are prepared to help farmers with site assessments and with the process of identifying qualified installers through a Request for Proposal aimed toward capturing group discounts. If you are interested in solar for your farm, you are welcome to contact Fritz Ebinger at 612-626-1028 or Ebing007@umn.edufor solar project assistance and collaboration.

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