Earth Day is everyday :) The best time to look into solar is now!

2020 is a great year to go solar! Solar pricing has dropped significantly over the last 10 years or so. With the price of a solar panel at about the same price as single pane tempered glass window, the price drop is leveling off. The federal tax credit has dropped from 30% down to 26% for 2020, then 22% for 2021, and then it's set to expire. Here are some solar installer links to help you down the path; Arden Hills, MN *All Energy Solar is dedicated to making solar easy and affordable for homeowners and small business owners. Learn how you can benefit from better energy at Saint Paul, MN Backus, MN Duluth, MN Sun Energy Mora, MN PEAK Electric Lutsen, MN
Local Climate Change Solutions - Social Justice October 12th 2019 marked the 3rd installment of our biannual Local Climate Change Solutions speaking series. Held once again at the Grand Marais Public Library. This installment focused on social justice relating to climate change. CCLEP Board President Chris O'Brien kicked off the event with greetings and introductions. Three guest speakers were invited to share their expertise with our community; Ben Passer spoke as the Director of Energy Access and Equity with Fresh Energy, Dr. Seth Moore presented his observations through his work as the Director of Biology and Environment with the Grand Portage band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Mysti Babineau, a Climate Change Organizer with MN350 was unfortunately unable to attend due to an emergency. Our Mayor of Grand Marais, Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux joined us as well. He encouraged those in attendance to spend a moment in thought and remembrance of the Native American origin of the land that we all occupy.
Ben Passer of Fresh Energy presenting Dr. Seth Moore of Grand Portage presenting 2019 Fall Solar Tour Leading the presentation on September 15th with a solar 101 was Eric Rehm of the Midwest Renewable Energy Alliance (MREA). His presentation set the tone for an event filled with information about solar energy systems as well as first hand experience from local area residents. Chel Anderson, and Tony Walzer (both CCLEP board members) shared their knowledge of life with on and off grid solar energy systems including a "Solar Furnace" (solar air heater) built by RREAL of Backus Minnesota. Jesse Durscheid presented information about solar thermal systems, specifically evacuated tube solar water heaters. The event concluded with a tour of the giant 40kw grid tied solar electric system at Cliff Dweller lodge on Lake Superior!

The 2019 Business Energy Workshop was a success! On March 30th 2019 we gathered local area business owners and other interested parties for a renewable energy presentation. Those in attendance listened to Andrew Beavers of Cascade Vacation Rentals, Jennifer Stoltz (Grand Marais Whole Foods Co-op), and Mike LaFleur from REAL (Renewable Energy Alliance) discuss the benefits of going solar! Through this presentation, workshops highlighting residential solar, and our group buy solar program we helped to encourage 10 new solar electric installations in Cook County!



Local Climate Change Action - With a gentle push from iMatter and the Nordic Nature Group Grand Marais passed a Climate Inheritance Resolution in February of 2017. The City of Grand Marais hired a Climate Action Coordinator. His name is Shane Steele and he has been coordinating City and County efforts to create a Climate Action Plan. The Climate Action Plan has been completed and was passed in June of 2019. The process has begun to design a structure to implement the points laid out in the CAP. To read more about the Climate Action Plan click this link

Local Energy
CCLEP has a number of tools designed to help answer common questions about adding solar capability to your 
home or business. The Solar Pay Back Calculator can help determine what system size and 
installation proposal will be the best for you. To learn more visit our Solar Program page ~

Solar Installation Survey If you own a solar PV system in Cook County, please fill out the CCLEP Solar Survey.
This will help us identify the growing number of renewable energy users in Cook County.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is now available in Cook County. PACE is a low-interest loan program designed specifically for businesses and non-profits.

Our Mission
The Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) is a nonprofit organization working for energy efficiency, renewable energy development and other climate change solutions in Cook County, Minnesota.

CCLEP Action Plan

  • Engender community conversation about energy issues through public meetings, radio shows, newspaper articles, on-line postings, and a dedicated website. 
  • Build and strengthen a network of interested parties to improve communication about, and increase coordination of, local energy projects.
  • Investigate feasibility of various energy efficiency and renewable energy production options specific to Cook County.
  • Gather, organize, and make available, information about energy issues.
  • Develop and maintain a website to make energy information easy to access and useful to our community.
  • Engage with local units of government to enact policies that enhance local energy efficiency and renewable energy development.
  • Encourage the establishment of a local energy industry by assisting local businesses and non-profits with their energy projects.
  • Develop, maintain and implement a county wide Energy Plan. 

We pursue this goal in order to achieve the following community benefits:
  • Retain energy dollars in our local economy.
  • Create jobs.
  • Improve quality of life through more comfortable, less-costly, energy efficient housing.
  • Buffer our community from unstable energy supply and pricing.
  • Reduce harmful climatic and environmental effects of fossil fuel use.
  • Reduce dependence on foreign oil.
  • Increase local self-reliance.
  • Transfer wealth and power into the hands of local citizens and their local utilities.

Staci Drouillard,
Feb 13, 2018, 9:08 AM