On October 17, 2011, an 82 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic installation was unveiled on the Saint Paul RiverCentre parking ramp, thanks to Federal Stimulus grant funding from the US Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The City of Saint Paul and Saint Paul RiverCentre are leading the way in sustainability as the ramp already features energy-efficient, money-saving lighting and is electric vehicle (EV) ready offering two charging stations.
Saint Paul RiverCentre officials announced in April 2009 their mission to become a regional leader in sustainability. Soon after, the remaining facilities on its campus came aboard due to their abundance of shared resources. In partnership with Progressive Associates of Saint Paul, Minn., an ambitious, strategic plan was launched encompassing multiple initiatives over several years. The energy portion of this program, a goal called “80-20 in 3,” seeks to reduce the operational carbon footprint of the facilities by 80 percent and increase the buildings to 20 percent more efficient than average similar buildings over the course of 3 years.
- Operating Savings: This solar installation, together with the 2010 retrofit of parking ramp lighting, will save nearly $60,000 per year in electricity costs.
- Energy Savings: The 348 solar photovoltaic panels will generate 100,000 kWh of energy per year; enough to power nine homes for a year.
- Carbon Savings: This project will reduce the facility’s carbon footprint by approximately 183,000 pounds of carbon per year.
- Community Economic Benefits: The parking ramp solar project is the largest of several projects made possible through the City of Saint Paul and Federal Stimulus funds. These projects are providing work in the local Clean Energy sector, while helping promote the viability of solar energy production in Minnesota.
- City of Saint Paul
- Coulomb Chargepoint
- Hunt Electric
- Minnesota Department of Commerce
- Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center
- US Department of Energy
- Westwood Professional Services
- Xcel Energy
To learn more, visit their dedicated sustainability microsite at www.xcelenergycenter.com/sustainability.