What if it was possible to match up local renewable energy sources with local energy demand and lessen the reliance on non-local, non-renewable energy?
An energy assessment of four counties conducted by West Central Initiative and the Northwest Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) may help do just that.
WCI intern Rena Stigen spent several weeks compiling energy usage information from the counties of Becker, Clay, Otter Tail and Wilkin. She entered the data into templates created by 6Solutions LLC (funded by Agricultural Utilization Research Institute) that can estimate each county’s renewable energy potential as well as energy use. The template can be replicated for use in other counties.
The estimates from this project revealed the great potential for renewable energy production in select counties of west central Minnesota. "For example, in Otter Tail County, even without taking into account solar and geothermal potential, the data showed how the renewable energy estimate could cover five times the estimated usage total from residential, transportation, agricultural and industrial energy," said Rena about her findings.
With more and more people recognizing the wealth of renewable energy potential, an increasing amount of options for harnessing and harvesting that energy are becoming available. People are finding more efficient and economical ways to produce earth-friendly energy options that make sense for our communities and our future.
Go to www.wcif.org/?countyenergy to read the full report, look at estimates for the four counties and download an estimator for your county.
For information about the project, contact Greg Wagner, economic development planner, at 800 735-2239, or email@example.com.