Bakken Museum to host renewable energy expo

The Bakken Museum’s exhibits explore the history and mystery of electricity in our society. So it’s only fitting that the museum will open its doors to the community for a free renewable energy expo from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6.

The expo is designed to teach visitors ideas and solutions to make their homes more energy efficient, and the idea of exploring renewable energy comes at a crucial time. Recent reports from the government’s Energy Information Administration state that "crude oil prices are expected to remain high and volatile."

Adopting alternative sources of energy can be difficult, but visitors to expo are encouraged to take the Minnesota Energy Challenge to learn small, simple steps to decrease energy use in their homes. Reduced energy use will, in turn, decrease global warming pollution caused by carbon dioxide emissions.

An interactive kiosk at the museum will present participants with the opportunity to take the online Minnesota Energy Challenge, or anyone can take it at home by logging on to www.mnenergychallenge.org/challenge. After registering, participants will be taken to a screen with tips for saving energy. One example is washing clothes in cold water, which can save $86 a year and prevent more than 900 pounds of global warming pollution.

The Minnesota Energy Challenge isn’t the only event The Bakken will have on hand — plenty of local businesses and nonprofit organizations will be available to teach participants the benefits of going green. Guest Mark Rathbun will speak about Great River Energy’s Renewable Energy Project.

Visitors can take an active role in green design and solar energy workshops presented by Studio 2030 and the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society. Representatives from the Center for Energy and the Environment and Xcel Energy will have informative demonstrations and exhibits, while Kiddywampus and Kidwind will keep children entertained with eco-friendly activities.

All visitors are welcome to view The Bakken’s newest exhibit, Electrifying Minnesota, and enjoy complimentary refreshments from organic baker Amy Kovacs and Peace Coffee. The Bakken Museum is located at 3537 Zenith Ave. S., on the corner of 36th Street West and Calhoun Parkway.