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Solar Systems 1: A New Series Exploring Solar Energy in Northern MN

The solar power industry is growing fast in Minnesota and, in different ways, it has a lot to offer residents and businesses in northern MN.  Today we have the first in a series we call “Solar Systems”.  Solar Systems will consist of reports and interviews about solar energy and the people who use it and build it in northern MN. 

Jason Edens from RREAL

In this series we’ll meet people who have installed solar energy in their homes.  We’ll hear how Minnesota’s public and private utilities, are investing in large solar projects and accommodating smaller ones.   We’ll learn about the growing interest in community solar gardens and how they work; and we’ll provide consumer information that can help you understand the most affordable ways to incorporate solar energy into your home or community.

We begin our series with a conversation Scott had recently with Jason Edens.  Jason is the director ofRREAL, the Rural Renewable Energy Alliance. RREAL is a non-profit business based in Backus, MN; and one of the first solar contractors to see the potential for solar energy up north.  Since 2000, the company has designed and built solar energy systems in northern MN, with a special emphasis on making solar energy affordable to low income residents, and promoting jobs and a clean energy economy.

In this interview, Jason tells us how solar energy projects are built and he gives us an overview of the potential for getting energy from the sun here in northern MN.

Here's some links for more information:

MN Power


MN Commerce Dept on Solar

Clean Energy Project Builder

North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners

Heidi Holtan is KAXE's Director of Content and Public Affairs where she manages producers and is the local host of Morning Edition from NPR. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North.