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City will host solar workshop Oct. 4

Solar energy is a renewable resource that can be used by individuals and businesses, and Metro Clean Energy Resource Team will show Rosemount residents how to make that happen.

The organization has partnered with the city of Rosemount to offer a workshop for residents to learn more about solar technologies. The workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Rosemount Community Center.

CERT director Diana McKeown said residents who attend the workshop will learn the basics of solar technologies, hear from people in Rosemount who have installed solar systems on their homes or businesses, learn about incentives and rebates available and get resources to start their own projects.

At the end of the workshop there will be time for questions and a vendor fair in which residents can visit companies who install solar.

McKeown said the price of solar technology has come down over the past few years and there are a number of incentive and rebate programs available to defray costs.

The workshop will also address energy efficiency and how residents can find ways to reduce energy consumption.

"We want to provide information on how to reduce energy use and save energy. It just makes sense," said McKeown.

The workshop will be led by Todd Fink, a solar instructor at Century College. McKeown said Fink has good knowledge base and is excited about the technology.

"He really loves talking about this," said McKeown.

The event will also include first hand testimonies from people in Rosemount who have installed systems. McKeown said they want to give people the opportunity to ask questions of someone in their own community who isn't trying to sell them something.

McKeown said they have held similar workshops throughout the metro and received positive responses. In Woodbury, they had to turn people away.

City planner Jason Lindahl said the city is excited to be bringing in the workshop.

"We are excited about the idea that we can have experts come in and talk about the details of solar," said Lindahl.

The city joined the Minnesota Greensteps program in 2011 in an effort to become more environmentally conscious. As part of that effort the city wants to provide information to residents on how they can improve their own energy consumption.

According to Solar Works for Minnesota, the state has an ample solar resource that is comparable to Florida and Spain, yet it is hardly tapped.

Minnesota is also home to small but growing solar industry which is creating jobs in the state.

The event is free and open to the public, but organizers ask attendees to reserve a spot at

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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