With the aid of federal and state grants, and a generous partnership with the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County has installed 35 Minnesota-made solar thermal panels on the roof of the Law Enforcement Center in St. Paul. These panels will generate 40 percent of the facility's annual hot water needs. The $230,000 project will help Ramsey County broaden its energy sources and fits with the Energy Management and Stewardship Plan that the Ramsey County Board adopted in March 2011. The new solar thermal system, manufactured by Solar Skies, helps Ramsey County put clean energy to use to further reduce the county's carbon emissions.
"Ramsey County has adopted an Energy Management and Stewardship Plan and this solar thermal project, along with the energy efficiency improvements that have been made to this building over the past few years, is proof that we are serious about good stewardship of our natural resources," said Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt. "Thanks to dedicated partners like the U.S. Department of Energy, Minnesota Department of Commerce, the City of St. Paul, District Energy and Representative Betty McCollum, we are creating a cleaner, more sustainable Ramsey County."
The project was funded by a grant to the City of St. Paul from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Minnesota Department of Commerce through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009.
"Ramsey County's new solar investment is a win for everyone," said Rep. McCollum. "It saves taxpayers money, reduces air pollution, and increases our energy security. This project has already supported jobs in our state because these solar panels were made right here in Minnesota."
This is the first solar thermal installation of this size in District Energy St. Paul's network. It serves as a demonstration project for other, small- to medium-sized buildings in their system. The Law Enforcement Center complex now utilizes two renewable energy technologies -- District Energy's cogeneration and solar thermal.