| Minnesota Power and Minn. National Guard to celebrate constructed solar array at Camp Ripley
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2017
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn.-
Camp Ripley will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Minnesota Power and the Minnesota National Guard at 10:30 a.m. on April 13, 2017, at the solar array observation platform on Camp Ripley.
"Solar energy jobs in Minnesota have grown 232 percent in just the last three years. The Camp Ripley solar energy array helps continue this tremendous economic growth, while ensuring the Minnesota National Guard has a reliable energy source," said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. "Our Administration remains committed to renewable energy efforts that are good for our health, good for our environment, and good for our jobs."
A partnership between Minnesota Power and the Minnesota National Guard has produced a solar array at Camp Ripley in Morrison County that boosts clean energy production for Minnesota Power customers and provides energy security for Camp Ripley.
"This partnership with Minnesota Power is an important milestone in our goal of moving toward Net Zero in all that we do," said Maj. Gen. Richard Nash, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. "The solar array will not only help provide for our facilities at Camp Ripley, but will also support our surrounding communities with a source of clean energy."
The $25 million, 10-megawatt solar farm covers more than 60 acres of the Camp Ripley cantonment area, making it the largest solar farm in Minnesota and one of the largest on any National Guard installation in the United States. This comes nearly two years after Minnesota Power and the Minnesota National Guard signed a Memorandum of Agreement in 2014.
"I want to thank the National Guard for the historic partnership that provides energy security for Camp Ripley and helps Minnesota Power provide the affordable, reliable, safe and clean power for our communities and customers," said Al Hodnik, chairman, president and CEO of ALLETE, Minnesota Power's parent company. "This solar array underscores the power of public-private partnerships to transform the nation's energy landscape as Minnesota Power continues to pursue its EnergyForward strategy of diversifying its energy mix while meeting the states' solar energy goals.
The 63-acre solar array contains more than 120,000 panels capable of generating 17,000 megawatt hours per year, or enough energy for nearly 2,000 customers. Its purpose is to provide clean energy to the Minnesota Power network while acting as a ready source for Camp Ripley should a disruption in normal service happen.
The development and construction of this project has helped garner national attention for environmental initiatives in the state and helped raise awareness of clean energy use by other agencies. The solar array helps the Minnesota National Guard meet energy security and renewable energy goals at Camp Ripley while providing Minnesota Power with one-third of the electricity needed to meet the Minnesota Solar Energy Standard.
"Minnesota has been a nationwide leader in promoting renewable energy, reaping the rewards in good-paying jobs, cost savings for our people, and environmental benefits," said Sen. Nick Frentz.
Al Hodnik, ALLETE Chairman, President and CEO, Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, and other invited dignitaries will take part in a salute to the renewable energy partnership that made this achievement possible.
Please join Minnesota Power and the Minnesota National Guard to celebrate the recently constructed solar array at Camp Ripley on Thursday, April 13, 2017, at 10:30 a.m.
For more information on the Minnesota National Guard, visit www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Minnesota National Guard Public Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 651-282-4410.
Camp Ripley earns top environmental award
Posted: 2017-04-26 02:09 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The Department of Defense announced that Camp Ripley was selected as the winner of the Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Natural Resources Conservation, Large Installation.
The awards recognize individuals, teams and installations for their exceptional environmental achievements and innovative, cost-effective environmental practices.
"The winners' efforts strengthen the Department of Defense's position as a resourceful environmental steward, both at home and abroad, and demonstrate our continued commitment to fulfilling mission needs through advanced environmental practices and technologies," stated James A. MacStravic, performing the duties of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
Minnesota Guardsman finds work with victims in the military and the local community rewarding
Posted: 2017-04-26 10:57 AM
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. - Staff Sgt. Nicquie Neely has been working with victims of sexual assault for four years in the Minnesota National Guard and also volunteers as a victim advocate in the community. As a victim advocate, it's her job to believe and support victims through a difficult process that can often involve extensive medical care and legal proceedings.
"Ever since I joined the Guard and heard about the SHARP program and learned what a victim advocate was, I always wanted to be one," said Neely. "And then I learned that you had to be an E-6 to be in that position, so the minute I got promoted I asked my commander if I could go to the training."
Neely is a combat medic and the full-time training and administration NCO with Company C, 134th Brigade Support Battalion. In addition to military victim advocate training, Neely also attends regular training with the civilian organization she volunteers for - SOS Sexual Violence Services in Ramsey County.
Minnesota National Guard Remembers the Holocaust with Jewish Community Relations Council
Posted: 2017-04-24 10:43 AM
Washington - Members of the Minnesota National Guard and the Air Force Reserve traveled to Washington D.C. with the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (also known as the JCRC), to visit the Holocaust Museum, April 4, 2017, to honor the victims of the Holocaust. Also, traveling with this group were St. Paul and Minneapolis police officers along with students from various high schools around the state. For those in uniform that day, it was an opportunity to see, hear and experience the stories of victims and survivors of the Holocaust.
Each Service member who attended was asked to bring back a summary of their experience in the form of a presentation, professional discussion or briefing to their respective unit in order to help other Guard members better understand and remember that horrible event, to honor the courage of the victims and survivors, and to remain vigilant as members of the U.S. military.
"The honor and privilege of accompanying members of the Minnesota National Guard to the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. met so many goals," said Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the JCRC. "I wanted to reinforce the importance of the commitment of the U.S. military to democracy. After all, it was the Allies that defeated Nazi Germany and ultimately put an end to the Holocaust."
Learning to instruct professionalism and discipline
Posted: 2017-04-19 02:15 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - It was a challenging and rewarding two weeks for members attending the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Instructor Course, April 1-14, at Camp Ripley.
Soldiers of National Guard units from all over the United States took part in the course designed to educate team leaders in a variety of funeral honor detail tasks, traditions and responsibilities.
"It's a stressful course, but for our job, we have to be prepared to do our job under stress; and we all really benefitted from that," said Class Honor Grad, Sgt. Ryan Valline of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry.