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Free screening, discussion of renewable energy

Tom Cherveny Tribune / Willmar erected two wind turbines in 2008 to produce electricity.

CANBY — The public is invited Sept. 18 to a free screening of a new documentary film and a community discussion of renewable energy in Minnesota at the Minnesota West Community and Technical College campus in Canby.

"The Power of Minnesota" is a collection of stories and voices from around Minnesota, highlighting the successes and benefits of renewable energy efforts throughout the state.

Along with the screening, a clean energy resource fair, community discussion and Q & A about renewable energy and how it's bolstering Minnesota's rural economy will be offered.

The event is from 6-9 p.m. and is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. Registration is at powerofmncanby.eventbrite.com or call Maggie Kozak at 612-626-0555.

Pioneer Public Television will air the documentary on its affiliate stations throughout the region Sept. 20.

Minnesota is a national renewable energy leader with currently more than 59,000 well-paying clean energy jobs. Many of the jobs are being created in the Southwest and West Central parts of the state.

The documentary spotlights students and staff at Minnesota West in Canby, which offers a wind energy technology program that provides hands-on training preparing students for highly-skilled work on wind turbines.

"The demand for wind energy technicians is outpacing supply," said Minnesota West Instructor Gary Olsen. "These skilled workers are graduating and rapidly advancing both professionally and financially."

Minnesota also continues to lead the nation in solar and wind energy production. Despite its winters, Minnesota has annual solar resources similar to areas of Florida and Texas.

Renewable energy made up 25 percent of the state's electricity generation in 2017, up from 23 percent in 2016 and 21 percent in 2013.

For more information, visit https://www.powerofmn.com/. Additional community events will take place in October and November in Chisago County, Bemidji, St. Cloud, and Fargo.

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