By Jan Ahlen, NFU Climate and Energy Coordinator
On Wednesday, the renewable energy tour moved on to the University of Minnesota-Morris. Farmers Union members attended a series of panel discussions followed by a tour of the university’s renewable energy facilities.
Various relevant stakeholders participated on the panels. Farmers heard from participants of the renewable energy tour including Till Kotter of the Heinrich Boll Foundation, Neil Veilleux, 2011 Renewable Energy Tour Fellow, and Dirk Ketelsen, organic farmer and renewable energy developer from Germany. Farmers also heard from renewable energy experts, state legislators and representatives from the university.
The University of Minnesota-Morris has implemented a very aggressive effort to become energy independent through the production of sustainable renewable energy on campus. Walking around campus, you will notice solar panels that help to power university facilities. The campus also boasts two 1.65MW wind turbines and a biomass gasifyer. These renewable energy systems are currently providing a significant amount of power to the campus. In fact, Farmers Union members serve as a crucial link by providing the university with the necessary biomass feedstock.