Minnesota entrepreneurs and businesses are leading the way in bringing clean and homegrown energy into the market, diversifying the state's energy mix.
Vice President, Ever Cat Fuels
Steve has been working as Vice President at Ever Cat Fuels, LLC since the company was founded in 2008. Before that, he worked at SarTec Corporation, where the Mcgyan Process was invented, a process that Ever Cat Fuels now utilizes in its three million gallon per year commercial biodiesel production facility in rural Isanti, MN. This process utilizes a simple, fixed bed continuous reactor to quickly and economically catalyze the production of biodiesel fuel from non-food based raw materials. The State of Minnesota has a history of being at the forefront of environmental issues and Ever Cat Fuels has consistently supported this endeavor by championing renewable fuels, which helps to protect the natural environment for future generations.
Steve enjoys the variety in his daily activities – sales, procurement, human resources, legal, government reporting, etc. – because there is always something new and exciting to tackle. Every day, Steve does whatever it takes to make the business successful. He enjoys being surrounded by highly motivated people that want to make a difference in the world because he knows that the development of clean energy alternatives allows our country to move closer to energy independence.
Chief Evangelist, 75 Fahrenheit
Bob French began his career at 75F as a mentor through the Entrepreneur in Residence opportunity at Carlson School, University of Minnesota and is currently the Chief Evangelist of 75 Fahrenheit. 75F solves an old problem in light commercial buildings by offering efficient HVAC controls that improve occupant comfort while saving energy. The breakthrough innovation 75F has developed with Internet of Things (IoT) technology and cloud computing can retrofit inefficient systems or be designed into new construction to make them work smarter and more efficiently. His favorite thing about working at 75F is helping people save energy while making them more comfortable in their offices.
Clean energy is important to Bob for both his children and future generations. He believes developing clean energy will help future generations continue to enjoy a high quality of life. “Minnesota has an abundance of natural resources that are the envy of the nation,” says Bob. “By promoting clean energy, we can help preserve those natural resources and take a leadership position in the clean energy industry.”
Project Developer, EDF Renewable Energy
Shanelle began her career with EDF Renewable Energy by helping the clean energy company with community outreach and policy work. Currently, she is a Project Developer and focuses on EDF Renewable’s development pipeline as well as public policy efforts relating to wind and solar power.
EDF Renewable Energy is a U.S. Independent power producer with over 25 years of expertise in project development, operations, and maintenance services, and has a history of utilizing homegrown talent to implement and develop clean energy solutions. Because Shannelle comes from an agricultural background, one of her favorite aspects about her job is being able to help provide sustainable income to rural communities. She loves that “EDF Renewable Energy is keeping electricity prices low for the long term,” and knows EDF Renewable Energy is committed to growing Minnesota’s clean energy economy.
Senior Operations Technician, Iberdrola Renewables
Steve Evans is a Senior Operations Technician at Iberdrola Renewables’ Elm Creek II Wind Farm in Alpha, Minnesota. The wind farm where Steve works is the third project Iberdrola has developed in partnership with a landowner group and includes 62 turbines. Steve started as a warranty technician on the GE wind turbines at the Trimont Wind Farm and later moved to work on the Mitsubishi wind turbines at Elm Creek II, which makes enough electricity to power 40,000 homes in a year.
Iberdrola Renewables is the second-largest wind operator in the U.S. and is one of the few companies able to provide clean energy solutions that allow large industrial and commercial customers to manage risks and uncertainty in the natural gas and power industries. Steve is happy to work at Iberdrola Renewables because he’s able to put his skills to good use on homeground. He enjoys working in the clean energy field because he continues to learn a lot. One day, he hopes to manage his own wind farm.
President, TruNorth Solar
In 2009, Martin’s father asked him and a few friends to build a solar array for their farm in Bemidji. He never imagined it would take him down the path to own and operate a sustainable solar business, TruNorth Solar, which he built with genuine passion for environmental stewardship. TruNorth Solar operates two divisions: one focused on Residential/Small Commercial Solar and the other on Commercial/Industrial/Community Solar. "Solar installation is not easy.” says Martin. “It’s extremely physical and combines many different trades and skills to install a quality solar pv system. TruNorth Solar’s culture is founded on our addiction to a hard day’s work and we pride ourselves in flipping the switch at the completion of each project.”
Solar energy is helping Minnesota to become more energy independent and rely less on outside sources for its energy needs. Martin’s favorite part of his work is teaching others about solar energy and sustainability. “It’s fun, exciting and easy to understand if explained clearly.” Much of Martin’s time is spent working with TruNorth Solar’s team members to keep each of the business engines running. He still looks forward to days spent in the field.