Bemidji State, HRDC partner to research demand for clean energy

The Sustainability Office at Bemidji State University and the Bemidji-based Headwaters Regional Development Commission have won a $3,000 grant from the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERT) to determine demand for renewable energy and energy efficiency financing in Bemidji.

In partnership with the Marketing Assistance and Research Solutions program at Bemidji State, the partners will survey the Bemidji community on its demand for renewable sources of energy and its awareness of energy efficiency financing options. The data will be used to develop financing tools for projects related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“The survey results will provide a great piece of evidence about what we need to do next,” Erika Bailey-Johnson, BSU sustainability coordinator, said. “For example, if the survey shows that businesses aren’t aware of financing options, then we will want to get them that information. If they’re skeptical about renewable energy, then we will know we need to get them some educational material.”

The results also will be shared with other communities to assist with their pursuit of energy project financing.

“Once we get information about what may be holding businesses back from pursuing renewable energy projects, then we can share this information with the rest of the state,” Bailey-Johnson said. “This research will provide a model for other communities to follow and answer these questions in their own areas.”

The Seed Grant was one of 34 awarded by CERT to fund projects encompassing a broad spectrum of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. Many projects also include components of research, education, outreach and community building.

Since 2006, CERT has awarded nearly $1 million in grants to more than 220 projects.

Erika Bailey-Johnson, sustainability coordinator, Bemidji State University; (218) 755-2560

Clean Energy Resource Teams