Applied Research and Development
Funds projects to identify new technologies or strategies to maximize energy savings, improve the effectiveness of energy conservation programs, or document the carbon dioxide reductions from energy conservation projects.
The Next Generation Energy Act of 2007 (the Act) established energy conservation as a primary resource for meeting Minnesota’s energy needs while reducing greenhouse gases and other harmful emissions. The Act also established a savings goal of 1.5 percent of annual retail electricity and natural gas sales for all utilities in the state. The utilities may reach this annual goal directly through its utility Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) and, indirectly, through energy codes, appliance standards, behavioral and other market transformation programs.
To help utilities reach their energy savings goal, the Act authorizes the commissioner to assess utilities $3,600,000 annually for grants for applied research and development projects:
- $2,600,000 for the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program through which Commerce awards grants in a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process.
- $500,000 for the Center for Sustainable Building Research to coordinate activities related to Sustainable Building 2030 (SB2030)
- $500,000 for the Clean Energy Resources Teams (CERTs) for community energy technical assistance and outreach.