Sustainable “Energy on a Stick” celebrates one year continual running at Minnesota State Fair
It is that time of the year again when hundreds of thousands of people flock to the reat Minnesota get-together. Visitors to the 2013 Minnesota State Fair were able to see something new “on a stick” that was not edible, deep fried, or unhealthy if consumed in large quantities. Together, the Minnesota State Fair Foundation and Real and Renewable, a non-profit organization whose focus is on renewable energy technology, brought something innovative to the fair something on a stick that is actually quite healthy, not only for us humans, but the environment that surrounds and supports us.
A year ago, crews installed an enclosed, self-powered streetlight at the intersection of Cosgrove Street and Randall Avenue, next to the Eco Experience. It combines micro wind, solar power, energy efficient LED lighting and the most advanced batteries available, which are all controlled by the latest generation of charge controllers. The light and supporting technology were donated to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation by Real and Renewable as a way to evaluate the system and demonstrate the potential for these lights to reduce energy consumption. The hybrid light is also aesthetically pleasing with a color changing bulb and design that screams, “welcome to the infrastructure of the future!”
“We are excited to have the chance to bring this idea and the combination of energy technology to the Minnesota State Fair,” said John Hink, Board Member of Real and Renewable. “Every year millions of us come to the fair to see all the new ideas that can be attached to a stick. We are bringing something to the fair that’s on a stick and is more interesting than the latest deep fried food. Our hybrid light will show everyone a new and sustainable way to use wind and solar energy.”
The light unit is designed to last for 20 plus years with minimal maintenance and need no external power consumption. The wind turbine is a vertical axis design, which eliminates or minimizes most concerns related to the placement of wind turbines in urban or suburban areas; such as noise, bird kill and reflections. The photovoltaic modules, batteries and electronics are the latest generation of each, which means increased lifetimes and maximized efficiency for each.
The hybrid light has now successfully operated problem and maintenance free for a full year. Having this display at the State Fair is a great opportunity for people to see how viable a shift toward an energy efficient and sustainable future can be. It is the simple yet innovative ideas that attract people’s interests. When people’s interests are captured, greater support in the idea is generated. This then leads to something that is needed now more than ever in the realm of energy consumption: change.
Real and Renewable will monitor the light system and evaluate light output, energy consumption and other key factors. The State Fair will assess the impact of the test light to determine if it’s feasible to install more the lights throughout the fairgrounds. There is also a hybrid light that was installed in Minneapolis.
20th Annual Great River Gathering
Real and Renewable presented at the 20th Annual Great River Gathering in Saint Paul, MN. Board members Scott Tracy and John Hink shared Real and Renewable’s vision and goals with civic leaders and community members. Excitement surrounding the Green Line and rejuvenation of the Saint Paul community was felt throughout the Union Depot. More on Great River Gathering
US Green Building Council
Real and Renewable sponsored a booth at the US Green Building Council – Minnesota IMPACT conference held at the Union Depot in Saint Paul, Minnesota on May 15, 2014. A demonstration scale street light, dually powered by wind and solar technologies, attracted many interested parties to the booth. Board members Carol Guy, Kali Anderson, John Hink, and Scott Tracy were present to discuss opportunities related to both well-proven renewable technologies and lesser established options. Real and Renewable focuses on the education, innovation, and implementation of renewable energies at a community level. More on US Green Building Council Conference.