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Friday, March 5, 2010

MREA puts their green where their mouth is

From an article by Kim Shankland in The Pointer (UW-Stevens Point):

Now that we’ve taken a look at the renewable energy sphere, let’s take a look at one of the leaders in the industry. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association is a non-profit organization located just nine miles east of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in Custer, Wis.

The MREA’s mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable living through education and demonstration. They are considered a national leader in the renewable energy field. In fact, the organization recently received a $3.3 million grant from the Department of Energy to organize a regional solar training network.

This organization is a great resource for UWSP students who would like to get into the field or learn more about energy efficiency and renewable energy practices.

The MREA strives to train and educate through the classes, internships and volunteer opportunities they provide. They hold workshops to educate people on the best way to use renewable energy in their houses or businesses and counsel people on how to be more energy-efficient.

MREA property includes a newly built classroom building to conduct more workshops at once. They also have training roofs for students, in order to practice installing solar panels in their installation workshops.

“A great way to get a basic introduction to renewable energy is to take our workshops. All of our basic 101 workshops are one day. It’s a nine to five class that can teach you about solar electric/solar hot water wind energy – one class for each technology. It’s a great way to see if you’re interested in it before you pursue it,” said Gina Sinisi, communications coordinator for the MREA.

The energy fair is an influential event for the MREA, community members and people involved in the renewable energy field all over the nation. Held each June, this event takes place at the ReNew the Earth institute on the MREA property in Custer.

The fair is host to thousands of people from all over the U.S. who connect with and learn from each other as they eat, drink, listen to music and camp.

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