New Minneapolis solar arrays showcase clean energy and green jobs

New solar installations will be up and running by the end of the month on six publicly owned 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.

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

The total amount of solar power adds up to 229 kilowatts of electric and 240 square feet of solar hot water. In addition, all of the City’s 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.

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., and 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.

The six solar projects were funded entirely by Department of Energy grants — from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — and Xcel Energy rebates.

For other ways the City of Minneapolis is promoting clean, renewable energy, visit


Published Mar 14, 2012