Welcome to CIP News, where you will find the latest news and information on a wide range of Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) topics.
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CARD Grant Program
The purpose of the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) Grant Program is to identify new technologies, strategies and program approaches that utilities can implement to help achieve the annual state energy conservation goal of 1.5 percent as established by the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. One recently completed CARD project is described below.
The Nov. 21 webinar that presented the results of the CARD project “Improving Energy Efficiency in Convenience Stores” will be posted in early December on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website, along with presentation slide deck. Visit www.energy.mn.gov and search “Convenience Store” or visit the CARD Grant Update page.
News & Reports
Guide shows CHP's Value as alternative power source during emergencies
Commerce issues report on microgrid development
New condensing boilers save energy for Sherburne County, Chisago
Sherburne County and the Chisago Lakes Middle School replaced aging boiler systems with new high efficient condensing boilers and are now realizing energy savings. Both received Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants and utility rebates to fund their projects. Case studies of the Chisago Lakes Middle School project and the Sherburne County energy upgrade are available on the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.
Events & Training
The 24th annual Energy Design Conference & Expo hosted by Minnesota Power will be held in the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center on Feb. 25–26. This event will once again offer a diverse set of seminars and workshops about the latest in energy-efficient building and technologies, renewable energy, best practices, and responsible design. Each year the Expo attracts about 1,000 participants and 75 exhibitors. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources will be a partnering sponsor and exhibitor. The deadline for early-bird registration is Jan. 17. Visit www.duluthenergydesign.com to register and for conference details.
The 2013 Minnesota Legislature set a number of new energy policies. The Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources is charged with developing policy in several areas. Read more below about progress, including updates on Energy Savings Goal Study, the Made in Minnesota Solar Incentive Program, and the Value of Solar Methodology. Energy legislation information is available at the Commerce website.
Energy Savings Goal Study meeting help shape report
Made in Minnesota first incentive amounts set for 2014; staff hired
Solar value methodology draft unveiled; comments due Dec. 10
An initial draft of a solar value methodology was presented by the Minnesota Department of Commerce and Clean Power Research on Nov. 19 at a workshop at the Science of Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul. A summary of the draft was presented and questions were taken from the crowd of 80. The initial Draft Value of Solar Methodology (pdf) is posted online. . Read more .
Oct. 22 workshop addresses Minnesota Energy Future Scoping Study
Solar Thermal and On-site Energy Storage studies
Work continues on two studies required by 2013 legislation: Solar Thermal and On-site Energy Storage. The Solar Thermal study will analyze the potential costs and benefits of expanding the installation of solar thermal projects in residential and commercial buildings in Minnesota. Thirty-five solar stakeholders convened on Nov. 7 to discuss barriers and energy opportunities for solar heating and cooling. Their input will inform the study process. A final report from Commerce is due to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2014.
The On-site Energy Storage White Paper will examine the potential costs and benefits of installing utility-managed, grid-connected energy storage devices installed in residential and commercial buildings in the state. The study will be submitted by Commerce to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2014.