New Minneapolis solar arrays showcase clean energy and local green jobs

New solar installations are up and running on six Minneapolis buildings, lowering energy costs, reducing pollution and creating clean energy jobs. These new installations include some solar arrays that produce electricity and others that provide hot water, mounted on publicly owned buildings in Minneapolis along the Energy Innovation Corridor. The corridor is a showcase of energy efficiency, renewable energy, transportation and smart technology along the new Central Corridor light rail line. 

The total amount of solar power installed adds up to 229 kilowatts of electric and 240 square feet of solar hot water. The six solar projects were funded entirely by Department of Energy grants – from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – and Xcel Energy rebates.

These new solar installations on five City of Minneapolis buildings and one University of Minnesota building will save $909,000 in energy costs over their lifetimes of 30 years and 4,830 metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution over the same period – the equivalent of taking 30 cars off the road every year.

The two solar hot water arrays and the electric array at Fire Station No. 19 have Minnesota-made panels. All of the panels were made in the U.S. All of the installing contractors are based in Minnesota or Wisconsin. These installations provided more than 3,000 hours – 79 weeks – of work for the Minnesota and Wisconsin businesses that manufactured or installed these solar arrays.

All of the City of Minneapolis fire stations have been retrofitted for lighting and weather-stripping, and some have received new energy efficient boilers, air conditioners, and super-insulated roofs. These improvements and other conservation measures in City buildings saved the City $196,000 in 2011 energy costs.

For other ways the City of Minneapolis is promoting clean, renewable energy, visit www.minneapolismn.gov/sustainability.

Published Mar 1, 2012