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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard teams with private sector to bring solar energy to Camp Ripley

Minnesota National Guard Little Falls, Minn-- The Minnesota National Guard and Minnesota Power will join forces to build a major solar energy project at Camp Ripley, the largest military base in Minnesota.

The Minnesota National Guard and Duluth-based Minnesota Power today signed a memorandum of understanding outlining plans to build a 10-megawatt utility-scale solar energy array spanning 100 acres at Camp Ripley. The project will be the largest solar energy installation on any National Guard base in the country. Minnesota Power will also identify ways to help the Guard save 30 percent of its energy, and install backup generation for energy security at Camp Ripley.

"The Minnesota National Guard and specifically Camp Ripley has been long looking for ways to increase our environmental stewardship. This signing marks a milestone along our path to making that vision a reality," said Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General.

"The Minnesota National Guard is committed to working with local partners in the government and the private sector, like Minnesota Power, to assist us in our pursuit of sustainable infrastructure." 

The solar farm and backup generation will be designed and constructed to allow Camp Ripley to use the energy produced by the project during infrequent periods when the electric grid is down, providing enhanced energy security for Minnesota's largest military site, which benefits all Minnesotans. At 10 megawatts, it will be among Minnesota's largest single-site solar arrays, producing more electricity than the camp normally requires. During non-emergency operation the solar energy produced would flow into Minnesota Power's electric service territory, which encompasses 26,000 square miles in central and northern Minnesota.

The solar energy project is projected to cost $25 million, and could be completed in the 2015-2016 time frame.

Completion of the Camp Ripley solar project will help the Minnesota National Guard meet energy conservation objectives outlined by the Department of Defense And Camp Ripley would achieve an energy security priority by gaining the ability to function completely independent of the electric grid in emergency situations. The project will stand to showcase a clean energy partnership between an innovative public utility and the military. 

In addition, the National Guard and Minnesota Power will work together to identify and complete programs that will help Camp Ripley meet its energy savings goal of 30 percent  (beginning with a 2003 baseline).  Minnesota Power personnel have recommended more than 50 different energy conservation measures to assist in meeting the energy savings goal.

Phase three of the memorandum signed today outlines how Minnesota Power will install reciprocating engines - either diesel or natural gas -- at Camp Ripley that will serve a dual purpose. First, the engines would provide capacity and peaking energy to Minnesota Power, operated through remote dispatch during periods when energy market conditions call on it Secondly, this "backup generation" could provide emergency generation to Camp Ripley.

For more information on the Minnesota National Guard visit: www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org, or find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MinnesotaNationalGuard

Contact Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs at mn.ng.web@mail.mil, or call office line: 651-282-4410

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Securing the Bold North: Minnesota National Guard supports Super Bowl LII

Posted: 2018-02-02  10:45 PM
Super Bowl 52 MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - More than 400 Minnesota National Guardsmen are supporting security efforts in Minneapolis ahead of Super Bowl 52.

"This is what we do," said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "When the local community can't meet the public safety needs, they come to the Guard. We're their normal partner, we're a natural partner, and we're their preferred partner when it comes to filling in the gaps that they can't fill."

At the request of the city, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton authorized the Minnesota National Guard to provide support to security efforts leading up to and during Super Bowl 52. The Guardsmen are providing direct support to and working alongside law enforcement officers from across the state. Like their civilian law enforcement partners, Minnesota Guardsmen are focused on ensuring a safe experience for the residents and visitors who are attending the Super Bowl festivities.



100 Years Ago, Camp Cody's "Grand Old Man" formed 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2018-01-18  12:59 PM
Gen. Augustus Blocksom Decorated veteran Augustus Blocksom was a man of his time, but times were changing. He exemplified Progressive Era America prior to the Great War. Blocksom participated in all the major US Army campaigns for nearly a half-century. He fought American Indians, Spaniards, Chinese and Filipinos. He brought that experience to Camp Cody, New Mexico where he assembled units from across the mid-West to form the 34th Infantry Division in 1917.



Iowa Red Bull takes command of 34th Infantry Division

Posted: 2017-12-13  10:11 AM
Minnesota National Guard JOHNSTON, Iowa - Brig. Gen. Benjamin J. Corell, Deputy Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, assumed command of the 34th Infantry Division "Red Bulls" during a ceremony in Rosemount, Minnesota, on December 9, 2017.

Headquartered in Minnesota, the division has been commanded almost-exclusively by members of the Minnesota National Guard since 1968.

"Typically there's been very few people who have been allowed to command the 34th Infantry Division that didn't come from the state of Minnesota," Corell said.



Minnesota-based aviation unit honors storied division, enters into new, 'expeditionary' era

Posted: 2017-12-12  11:29 AM
Minnesota National Guard ST. PAUL, Minn. - Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade (ECAB), who recently celebrated a year full of achievements, have embraced a new name: Red Devils.

The St. Paul-based unit hosted its annual aviation brigade ball Dec. 9, at the Envision Event Center in Oakdale, Minnesota, where the unit's new logo was unveiled.

Soldiers of the 34th ECAB, which falls under and supports the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, will continue to wear the Red Bull insignia on their uniforms. However, they will now be known and referred to as the Red Devils, a name that pays homage to the division's historical accomplishments and fierce warfighting.



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