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Clean energy awards showcase Minnesota communities

Customers receive the Clean Energy Community Award from state of Minnesota

By: | November 18, 2016 1:55 am

Customers across the country expect more from their energy company than just power. While affordability and reliability remain primary concerns, customers increasingly want their energy to come from clean, renewable sources. Xcel Energy is a committed partner in our customers’ energy future. That’s why we’re proud to congratulate four communities we serve and the Minnesota Air National Guard that recently received Clean Energy Community Awards from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The awards acknowledge the work done by these communities to further the state’s clean energy goals by implementing programs, policies and technologies that encourage efficiency, conservation and renewable energy.


Members of the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership pose with the city’s Clean Energy Community Award.  

  • Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership

The Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership is a unique partnership between the city of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy – its electric and natural gas utilities – in support of the city’s Climate Action Plan and Energy Vision for 2040. These goals include a 30 percent greenhouse gas reduction by 2025 and 80 percent reduction by 2050. The CEP is a collaborative leadership framework through which the city and utilities study, prioritize, plan, coordinate, implement, market, track and report progress on clean energy activities in the city. To date the partnership has helped low-income customers improve home energy efficiency and leveraged nearly $1 million more in federal support for residential weatherization programs. Minneapolis was also recognized by the White House as a Climate Action Champion community citing its Climate Action Plan and the CEP.

  • City of Hutchinson’s Capped Landfill Solar Development

A 400 kW solar array was constructed by the city of Hutchison on a capped landfill in Nov. 2015; the first-of-its-kind in Minnesota. Building the site on a brownfield capped landfill minimized the land-use impact of the solar array. The project was constructed with a $958,000 grant from Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund, which covered about two-thirds of the cost.

  • City of St. Cloud’s Renewable Energy and Efficiency Initiative

St. Cloud’s energy efficiency master planning efforts in 2014 led to identifying citywide renewable energy and efficiency opportunities. That brought about the creation of REEI, which includes a subscription to solar gardens through Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community® program, a citywide LED street lighting upgrade, the Wastewater Energy Efficiency and Biogas project and the development of its communitywide Energy Action Plan through Xcel Energy’s Partners in Energy Program.

  • Minnesota Air National Guard’s Energy Efficiency Initiative

The Minnesota Air National Guard, based in Minneapolis, has long been a leader in driving energy efficiency for its facilities. Through those efforts, the total annual energy intensity (KBTU per square feet) at the base was reduced by 40 percent from 2003 to 2015 and decreased its total annual water intensity (GAL per square feet) by nearly 50 percent from 2007 to 2015. Many of the energy efficiency achievements were made possible through a strong partnership with Xcel Energy, including energy design assistance for new construction and a joint energy efficiency plan, which identifies future efficiency projects. The guard also took advantage of a variety of rebates including, LED lighting, cooling, VFD motors and compressed air. Special rate programs including Peak Control program were also harnessed, saving more than $61,000 per year.

  • Chisago County Clean Energy Hub

The Chisago County Clean Energy Hub is a citizen-driven, countywide initiative to advance clean energy economic development across Chisago County, with a focus on energy efficiency and solar energy projects. The Clean Energy Hub, a partnership of several local groups, has the goal of facilitating at least $40 million in direct project investment, above and beyond the 100MW of universal solar and 34 MW of small-scale community solar garden projects currently in development in the county. Chisago County is home to the recently completed North Star Solar project, the largest single solar facility in the Midwest. The North Star Solar project will provide renewable energy to Xcel Energy customers throughout our Upper Midwest service territory. With the help of Xcel Energy’s no-commitment energy assessments and technical assistance, the Hub will focus on underserved market segments, including: Main Street businesses and small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations; small to medium-sized public buildings; and multifamily properties and single-family residences across Xcel Energy, rural cooperative and municipal utility service territories.

Congratulations to these communities for the leadership and dedication to clean energy – it was our honor to collaborate with you to meet your clean energy goals. We are proud to offer a variety of energy solutions to help the communities we serve achieve their clean energy goals. Whether it’s more control over energy use or choices about how energy is produced, we strive to find a variety of ways to meet the needs of our customers.

For more information about ways we can work together to serve your community’s needs visit

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