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Mankato Courtyard Marriott to be First LEED-Certified Hotel in Minnesota

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The Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team and Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force hosted a Free Clean Energy tour today.

Making stops at several area, energy efficient buildings.

The first on the list:  Mankato's Courtyard Marriott.

When it comes to Clean Energy in Southern Minnesota, several buildings are putting their best foot forward.

Southeast Clean Energy Resource Team coordinator, Michelle Palm says, "It's great for the environment and we love that, but I think from a city standpoint or a utilities standpoint, they do want to save money because money's tight everywhere and it really just makes sense."

Today, dozens of community members took part in a Clean Energy Tour learning about area renewable energy and ways to take their own steps in energy improvements.

Palm says, "It's really important to start learning about solar and start knowing about different energy efficiency measures you can take to not only save yourself some money, but to also reduce the overall energy need."

Kicking off the tour in a hotel that is set on a mission to reduce its own carbon footprint.

Courtyard Marriott general manager, Preston Lougheed says, "Once we receive our certification we'll be Minnesota's first LEED–certified hotel."

Having energy efficient lighting and air–conditioning units, low–flow water heads and toilets, using low VOC paint and reusing linens lists only a fraction of the hotel's energy efficient ways.

Lougheed says, "We have a 192 solar panels made right here in Minnesota. We're the first Marriott hotel in the world that we know of that has these that are currently producing about six percent of our own electricity."

Another energy saving feature the hotel has is the ability to shut off every light in the room with the flip of just one switch.

Lougheed says, "We're very proud of it, it's a lot of work. It does take some money but we're a very environment friendly company. We do a lot of recycling and we just believe that it's the right thing to do."