Region Nine Presents Clean Energy Communities at the State Fair

Event Details

The Minnesota Department of Commerce State Energy Office has developed the Clean Energy Community Education Grant Program to promote clean energy education efforts, to be featured at the State Fair. On September 2nd, Region Nine will showcase two communities, School Sisters of Notre Dame located in Mankato, Minnesota and Hometown Bioenergy from Minnesota Municipal Power Agency located in Le Sueur, Minnesota as part of the program located in the Eco Experience building.
The School Sisters of Notre Dame is a 100 percent clean energy nursing home and residence. The Catholic Religious order owns one solar array and has purchased shares in two other cooperative projects. Taken together, the solar panels power a nursing home and mother house, over a total of 660,000 square feet of building space across 146 acres. Additionally, they generate revenue by selling some electricity back to supplier Xcel Energy. The School Sisters of Notre Dame are carbon negative on electricity and have not paid an bill in more than a decade.
Hometown Bioenergy from Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, just north of the City of Le Sueur, is the nation’s largest anaerobic digester, which uses bacterial decomposition to convert agricultural byproducts (i.e., corn silage, chicken droppings) into methane. The clean-burning natural gas is then used to generate electricity. The plant pumps out enough energy to power more than 5,000 homes.
This program is intended to support participation in an educational initiative that showcases the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy, addresses climate change issues, and empowers, inspires, and motivates a new generation of energy leaders of all ages and backgrounds in communities in Minnesota.