Minneapolis Convention Center

Address: 1301 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 

Project Overview:

The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) employs sustainable practices in many of its operations, including waste management, cleaning, food services, and energy. In addition, Best Power International developed the largest solar array in the Upper Midwest – 600 kW of direct current solar photovoltaic panels – on the Convention Center roof. The new solar panels are fully installed, and the system is fully running as of mid-November 2010. The 2,613 panel array (enough to power 85 homes) provides about five percent of the Convention Center’s power, bringing total renewable energy share to 15 percent. The system is owned and operated by the developer and privately financed.


Operational Savings:

  • Multi-stream containers collect 2.2 tons of recyclables per month. The MCC recycles 98 percent of cardboard and 100 tons of food waste annually
  • A $3.3 million roof replacement in 2009 reused and recycled 100 percent of existing roofing materials
  • EcoMod escalator retrofits preserve the structural steel framing and truss work along with finish materials
  • Low flow and automatic shut off devices conserve water and sewer resources
  • Energy-saving and green cleaning products and equipment are utilized

Energy Savings:

  • A rooftop solar array has the potential to produce 765,000 kWh of renewable electric energy per year, allowing the MCC to purchase less energy from the grid. 
  • Indoor air temperature policy maximizes efficiency while maintaining client comfort
  • Heating and cooling systems monitored to ensure spaces are conditioned only when needed

 Carbon Savings:

  • Renewable Choice Energy offers Green Your Event packages that include certified renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by wind farms or other renewable energy projects across the United States and Canada and verified carbon offsets from projects that reduce carbon emissions entering the atmosphere

 Community Economic Benefits: 

  • Kelber Catering uses locally sourced produce and bulk condiments when possible as well as reusable and biodegradable dishes and flatware 
  • Food prep waste and surplus food is donated through Second Harvest Heartland, People Serving People, St. Paul Evangelical Food Mission, and Kid’s Cafe

Project Partners:

Energy Innovation Corridor fact sheet

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