What We Do
Make solar accessible to all communities.
Use solar power to reduce poverty in
Central & Northern Minnesota.
Current Programs & Projects
Solar for Humanity
Solar for Humanity is a partnership with regional rural Habitat for Humanity affiliates to install solar
on Habitat homes and reduce energy expenses for homeowners & families.
Internships and education opportunities are just the beginning. We need on the job training and more clean energy companies ready to hire a newly trained workforce. RREAL and its partners are working hard to help create that new, inclusive clean energy workforce.
K-8 Solar Curriculum
Initially developed in 2020, RREAL then partnered with CERTS to get input from science educators & update the K-8 curriculum in 2021. Developed to New Generation Science standards, the curriculum will be useful as schools seek state support for new Solar on Schools funding, which requires solar education for students & families.
Minnesota Map for Solar Development
REAL partnered with CERTS and the U of MN's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs to create the Totally Awesome Map for Renewable Energy Collaboration. The Map includes overlays for county, tribal, & municipal boundaries as well as layers to show poverty hot spots, electrical lines & substations, school districts, & so much more.
Solar on Schools
In 2019, RREAL played an integral role in a regional effort to install 1.5 MW of solar power on Pine River Backus & Pequot Lakes high schools as well as the Brainerd & Staples campuses of Central Lakes College.
In 2021, the MN Legislature set aside millions to support a Solar on Schools initiative. RREAL is now seeking partners to help regional schools offset energy costs with solar power.
Solar greenhouses offer the opportunity to tackle a double bottom line in fighting poverty: food & energy. In 2022, RREAL will work with Minnesota Venture Farms to break ground on five 4,000 square foot solar greenhouses in five rural locations, including the RREAL office in Backus and a site on the White Earth Nation.