WILLMAR -- Clean energy projects in Willmar and Milan are among 27 in the state being awarded grant funds by the Clean Energy Resource Teams.
Known as CERTs, the University of Minnesota-sponsored initiative is kicking off 2012 by announcing seed grant awards in each of the seven regions. Each region is being awarded $10,000 in grants, with projects ranging from solar energy heating for mobile homes in Pine River to a small wind turbine bulk purchase program across southern Minnesota.
The Willmar Public School's Youth Energy Summit team will receive $2,500 to upgrade the Willmar Community Greenhouse. It will make possible greater insulation, system redesign, and reconstruction to improve the efficiency of the solar panels and the biomass boiler. The greenhouse is currently heated through passive solar, solar thermal hot water panels, a biomass burner, and vermicompost bins.
A $2,500 grant to the Sustainable Energy Utility of Milan will provide education, technology and financing services for area residents to improve energy efficiency and consider renewable energy for their residences, businesses, and gathering places. The SEU is working to revitalize the Milan school building to improve its energy efficiency and better fit the multiple uses of the community.