Using Renewable Energy in Minnesota Parks: A Guidebook for Park Managers

In 1997 the State Legislature provided the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) with funding for the Renewable Energy in State Parks Demonstration and Education project [through funding from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Oil Overcharge Account, 1997 Minnesota Laws, Ch. 216, Sec. 15, Subd.12(b)]. The project had three goals:

  • to demonstrate cost-effective applications of renewable energy technologies in state parks by installing a variety of technically viable systems;
  • to develop this guidebook to help state, county and local park managers choose appropriate renewable energy technologies to meet their park's energy needs;
  • and to use the installed renewable energy systems to educate the public about renewable energy and the environment.

During the course of this project park managers and other Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff identified over 50 energy needs in the state parks. CEE's engineers and researchers evaluated these suggestions, eliminated infeasible options, and designed 14 renewable energy systems. By December 1999 these systems will be installed in eight different parks. With DNR's help this project allowed CEE to showcase 11 different applications in which renewable energy can improve Minnesota's State Parks without polluting the environment.

It is the hope of CEE that park staff across Minnesota use the lessons learned in this guidebook to duplicate the technically feasible and cost-effective technologies described here.

Full report (PDF):
Using Renewable Energy in Minnesota Parks: A Guidebook for Park Managers