• December 2007 Farm Bill Update

    With the Energy Bill being signed this week void of a national Renewable Energy Standard, many Americans are wondering how other policy can help support renewable energy development in rural America. One answer is the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP, previously called Section 9006 of the Farm Bill), which provides grants and loan guarantees to farmers, ranchers and rural, small businesses for renewable energy development and energy efficiency improvements.

    Among the renewable energy provisions found in the Senate version of the farm bill is $260 million over five years for the Rural Energy for America Program. The 2002 Farm Bill, and REAP within it, is set to expire this year, but the House-Senate conference committee working on the bill hopes to extend the bill through March 15th, 2008 in order to provide continuous funding for the programs covered in the 2002 bill until agreements can be reached and passed.

    Click here to read a more in depth update from the 25x'25 coalition.

  • CERTs (Minnesota) RFP for technical assistance now available. Proposals are due November 16, 2007.

    The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), via the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (U of MN Regional Partnerships) and Southwest Regional Development Commission (SRDC), seek to provide limited financial assistance for energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects requiring technical assistance.

    Project funding can support technical assistance services (i.e., labor costs), such as consultant, design professional, installer or student labor, for projects in one of the following six Minnesota CERT regions: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest and West Central.

    The primary objectives of this funding project are to:

    • Encourage the implementation of community-based energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in CERT regions
    • Provide a forum for community education about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and their economic, ecological and community benefits.

    Funding for these projects is provided through: (1) the Minnesota Department of Commerce, (2) the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and (3) the Blandin Foundation.

    To be eligible for consideration for funding, each applicant must:

    • Be located within one of the six greater Minnesota CERT regions: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest or West Central (www.cleanenergyresourceteams.org/map.html); and
    • Seek funding for technical assistance support meaning labor costs, not hardware or material costs; and
    • Must not be for work completed prior to award of project funding; and
    • Demonstrate the committed resources, funding and ability to complete the project by December 31, 20084; and
    • Demonstrate the ability and commitment to serve as a community-wide educational resource for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

    NOVEMBER 16th, 2007, to the contacts listed in the Attachment.
    Selections will be made by each regional CERT by December 21st, 2007.

    Award notification will be made by January 4th, 2008.

    Projects must be completed, and final reports submitted, by December 31st, 2008.

    Funds up to the grant amount will be reimbursed for eligible expenses upon project completion.

    See the attached PDF for more information.

  • Catch the Wind

    Minnesota's wind-power industry is picking up speed.

    By Mary Hoff
    Photography by Michael Petersen

    The sight could well make you feel as though you've awakened in a surrealistic world - one in which past, present, and future have been cut up and pasted together into a single scene, like those collages schoolchildren make for book reports and social studies projects. At your feet, fat-leaved soybeans stand in tidy, timeless rows. Above, the achingly blue sky, interrupted here and there by scudding clouds, stretches from horizon to horizon. Connecting the two are hundreds - count 'em, hundreds - of skyscraping white towers, each standing 10 times as tall as the faded farmhouse on the side of the road, each holding aloft a gigantic propellerlike device turning cartwheels in the wind.

    Read the article:

    Mary Hoff, Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, November-December 2003.

  • Harvesting The Wind

    Harvesting The Wind

    by Kindra Gordon

    Looking for another crop to harvest? Consider the wind. Wind turbines are compatible with raising crops, forages and livestock, says Lisa Daniels, director of Windustry, a Minnesota-based organization devoted to educating landowners about wind energy. They take less than 2% of the land out of production, and it's an additional source of revenue. With wind energy potential pegged at 10,777 billion

    Read article, Hay and Forage Grower, March 1, 2004

  • Major US Utility Facilitates Citizen Wind Power

    "Major US Utility Facilitates Citizen Wind Power," Windpower Monthly, May 2006, Vol. 22, No. 5, pp. 29-30. "In an American twist to the European model of community scale wind power development, huge Midwest utility Xcel Energy is facilitating the birth of a broad popular movement in local ownership of small scale wind projects." Windustry executive director Lisa Daniels contributed to this article on the impact of C-BED (Community-Based Energy Development) on wind energy projects in Minnesota.

  • Save the Date! Windustry's 2008 Community Wind Conference is Set for April 14-16, 2008

    Join Windustry in Albany, NY for the premier national conference bringing agriculture and wind energy together to advance opportunities for locally-owned clean energy production and rural economic development. We will share experiences and information to harness the growing momentum for new models, new policies and new projects.

    Click here to go to the official conference web page!

    What is Community Wind? Community wind energy projects come in many shapes and sizes, all sharing significant elements of local ownership and participation (public or private). This new economic opportunity for rural communities can build support for renewable energy in general while maximizing the local economic benefits of wind energy development.

    What to expect at Community Wind Energy 2008:

    • See a snapshot of what community wind and other clean energy can mean in your community.
    • Hear from wind experts, agricultural producers, tribes, and rural landowners who have developed community wind projects.
    • Meet potential project financers.
    • Engage in discussions about all sizes of wind turbines—from home and farm scale machines to mid-size and commercial-scale machines.
    • Shop the extensive wind industry exhibit floor.
    • Gather to advance the dialogue on what’s next for community wind!

    Who will attend?
    Rural landowners, elected officials, farmers, ranchers, business leaders, tribal representatives, economic development professionals, lenders, bankers, city planners, and community leaders will be in attendance.

    The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a partnering sponsor of this event.

    For more information, contact Windustry:

    Click the link below to download a printable version of this flyer.

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