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Local CEO lands on Forbes "Most Powerful" list

Northern Oil & Gas CEO Michael Reger was recently named one of "America's Most Powerful CEOs 40 and Under" by business magazine Forbes.
This is Reger's second consecutive year on the list, and he comes in at 15 out of 20, down two spots over last year's ranking. The 36 year-old CEO co-founded the Wayzata-based energy company in 2006 and recently, Northern has been seeing major growth from the North Dakota oil boom.
In terms of the rest of the list, Google's Larry Page ranked no. 1, with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Yahoo!'s Marissa Mayer rounding out the top three. To make the list, candidates had to be a CEO at a major publicly traded company in the United States. 

Minneapolis home featured in Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal highlights a standout Minneapolis home that was locally designed. It belongs to Kaywin Feldman, who leads the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and her husband, Jim Lutz. 

The house originated as a part of  the prefabricated “weeHouse” series designed by area architects Geoffrey Warner and Scott Ervin of Alchemy Architects, the story states.

The modern house has a boxy exterior and glass walls, while the couple’s art collection, midcentury furnishings, and library fill the space, the story reads.

About the white walls, which provide a neutral backdrop, Feldman says, "It's my world," adding, "Our museum is all white walls."

Reclaimed wood and renewable bamboo floors characterize the place, which has a treehouse feel.  

Besides being an attractive retreat, the home is energy-efficient and doesn't require too much in the way of upkeep, according to the story. 

Business Journal names healthiest employers of the Twin Cities

Fifteen companies have been named as the Healthiest Employers of the Twin Cities for 2012, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
The results come from extensive surveys about workplace wellness programs, and include factors such as access to fitness facilities, communication about wellness topics, and disease-management programs.
Companies that made the list include Target, StoneArch Creative, Syngenta, Minnesota Elevator, Great River Energy, and Accenture. The Business Journal will hold a special recognition event for the companies in mid-June.

Minnnesota one of the top 10 states for LEED building

Recently the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released a list of the top 10 states for green building through the internationally recognized LEED standards.

The results are based on U.S. Census data from last year.

Minnesota rounds out the list that’s topped by the District of Columbia.  

The LEED Platinum Marquette Plaza in Minneapolis is named in a prepared statement about the list.

New U of M wind energy station recognized

North American Windpower (NAW), a publication geared toward professionals in the windpower industry, recently reported on a new wind energy research station in Rosemont, implemented by the University of Minnesota.
The facility consists of a wind turbine and a 420-foot-tall meteorological research tower, located about 25 miles southeast of the university's Twin Cities campus.
As noted by NAW, the station will host active consortium research as well as education and training of wind industry workers. The facility is equipped with instruments and sensors designed to measure factors like wind-capturing ability. 

Energy news site highlights Great River Energy

BrighterEnergy.org, a site that focuses on alternative and renewable energy sources, reported on Great River Energy's search for community-based renewable energy proposals.

The Minnesota electric co-op is seeking the energy to meet obligations set out by the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard, which requires electric utilities to supply an increasing percentage of energy sales from renewable sources.
Eligible technologies for the proposal round include biomass, wind, solar, municipal solid waste, and other sources. 
According to the news item in BrighterEnergy, the co-op is hoping to provide 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

Minnesota ranked 7th on clean-energy leadership index

Minnesota ranks seventh among all 50 states in the area of clean energy, according to Clean Edge's clean energy leadership index.

States are ranked based on a number of factors falling into three major categories: technology, policy, and capital, according to a summary of the index online.

Minnesota's score of 57 ties it with New Mexico for seventh place. The number one state is California; the last is West Virginia.

U of M researchers closer to making renewable petroleum

The April 1 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry publishes University of Minnesota researchers' step toward making renewable petroleum fuels using bacteria, sunlight and dioxide.

Janice Frias, who earned her doctorate in January, successfully used a protein to transform fatty acids produced by the bacteria into ketones, which can be cracked to make hydrocarbon fuels, according to a press release.

The university is filing patents on the process.

The research is funded by a $2.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-energy (ARPA-e) program. The U of M proposal was one of only 37 selected from 3,700 applicants for the grant.

Ethiopian Review counts U of M among greenest colleges and universities

The University of Minnesota is featured in a list of a dozen of the country's most eco-friendly colleges and universities on the website of the Ethiopian Review, a Washington, DC-based journal of Ethiopian and world affairs.

Schools are often "epicenters for environmental activism and change," with advanced recycling, composting and green building initiatives, for example, the post states.

At the University of Minnesota specifically, energy efficiency is a big priority.

Some of the other projects at the university that the website lauds have to do with recently installed cogeneration and biofuels plants, university fleet vehicles that run on alternative fuels, LEED sustainable construction, numerous green-focused student groups, and a popular organic teaching farm, it states.   

BioBusiness Alliance set to join green business leaders, advocates at Midwest Biomass Summit

Industry leaders and advocates from six states have gathered for the "Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass Summit," reports Biomass Power and Thermal magazine. Expected participants include the St. Louis Park-based BioBusiness Alliance.
The event, held Feb. 9 in Carlton, Minn., is fashioned after a similar conference in the Northeast. The goal: "to define and support a long-term vision for using biomass to create thermal energy for space heating, hot water and industrial heat applications in the Midwest," writes Biomass's Lisa Gibson.
Presentations will address "regional demographics, biomass availability, combustion technologies, benefits resulting from biomass utilization, and the need to rally support for the vision."

U of M student group installing wind turbines for Nicaraguan village

The Minnesota Daily reports on a University of Minnesota student group that's erecting a pair of wind turbines for a small Nicaraguan village.

Alejandro De La Mora and Josh Durand, both engineering students, were inspired by a book about wind power to start the Innovative Engineers student group. The student group traveled to the village of La Hermita last year with turbine pieces and laid the tower's foundation. They plan to return this year to finish the installation.

The village currently gets electricity from car batteries that need to be recharged in a nearby town. The wind turbine will allow them to be charged without leaving the village.

The student group plans to continue working on other renewable energy projects that can have an impact.

"If you have the ability to change the world and you want to do it," De La Mora tells the Daily, "why not do it?"

White House blog shines spotlight on U of M solar car team

The University of Minnesota's solar car team, which recently placed second in the American Solar Challenge race, got a mention on a White House blog last week.

The Office of Science & Tech Policy Blog notes a recent President Obama speech about the importance of getting students excited about education, particularly in science and mathematics:

"Well, there is no better example of how to generate that kind of enthusiasm--all the while helping to make renewable-energy vehicles more practical--than the recently completed American Solar Challenge," it continues. The post includes a photo of the Minnesota team's vehicle.

Read the entire White House blog post here.
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