Riverfront Solar Installations
Solar is quickly becoming a more common energy application in Minnesota and Saint Paul has been on the forefront of solar development. In the last decade, dozens of solar projects have been launched in the city, including 5 permanent and 1 temporary installation along the riverfront.
The largest of the installations is along the Saint Paul River Centre parking ramp and can be seen from many places along the river. This 82 kilowatt project has been operating since 2011 and generates approximately 100,000 kWh of energy per year; enough to power nine homes for a year. This reduces the carbon footprint for the parking ramp by 183,000 carbon annually.
There are 3 solar photovoltaic installations hosted by the Science Museum of Minnesota. Each is used to produce electricity, which reduces the carbon footprint for the entire museum. They can be found on the Elements Café balcony, on the Science House, and in the Big Backyard. More info about the solar on the Science house can be found here.
There is also a temporary solar installation on the plaza to the east of the Science Museum, which powers the Nice Ride station.
Lastly, a small solar thermal array is used to capture the heat from the sun for use in the District Energy plant. These panels were manufactured in Minnesota by Solar Skies. This is one of the highest concentrations of independent solar installations in North America and they can all be seen by visitors to the EcoDistrict.