On September 18, a film screening of the new documentary, The Power of Minnesota, will take place at Minnesota West Community and Technical College on the Canby Campus. The film is a collection of stories and voices around Minnesota, highlighting the successes and benefits of renewable energy efforts throughout the state.
The event in Canby is being hosted by Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), in partnership with Pioneer Public Television, Minnesota West Community and Technical College and MnSCU, Southwest Regional Development Commission, and the Upper Minnesota River Valley Regional Development Commission. The event is from 6-9 p.m. and is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is requested. Registration is at powerofmncanby.eventbrite.com or call Maggie Kozak at 612-626-0555. Event highlights include a social hour with appetizers and a clean energy resource fair; a screening of the documentary; and a community discussion and Q & A about renewable energy and how it’s bolstering Minnesota’s rural economy.
Pioneer Public Television will air the documentary on its affiliate stations throughout the region on September 20. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner on this important event highlighting Minnesota’s growing clean energy economy,” said Patrick Moore, Communications Director at Pioneer Public Television. “We’ll also be showing a new episode of our popular Prairie Sportsman program about how prairie is being planted under and around large solar arrays in Minnesota to create habitat for local wildlife and pollinators.”
Many people may not know that Minnesota is a national clean energy leader with currently more than 59,000 well-paying clean energy jobs. The Power of Minnesota was created to highlight the benefits and successes of solar and wind power projects throughout the state, and to foster community engagement and awareness. The documentary features stories about the many ways in which clean energy is helping families and communities throughout Minnesota, many of them in the Southwest and West Central parts of the state.
The documentary spotlights students and staff at Minnesota West in Canby where the event is being held, 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,” Minnesota West Instructor Gary Olsen highlights in the documentary. “These skilled workers are graduating and rapidly advancing both professionally and financially.”
“The reason why I was so excited to work in this field was that it made me feel like I’m going to accomplish more than what I can even imagine,” shared Minnesota West student Nathaniel Hurst. “We’re helping reach the 25 percent renewable energy goal of the state of Minnesota.”
“There is no question Minnesota is viewed nationally as one of the leaders in renewable energy,” comments Bruce Peterson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Energy Center of Excellence. “We are as of this year number seven in wind energy production. It’s more than double every year.”
Minnesota continues to lead the nation in solar and wind energy production. Despite its lengthy, subzero 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 about The Power of Minnesota or the September 18 event, 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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