05 Oct Two new community solar gardens to benefit low income families
Largest Community Solar Garden in Twin Cities to be Installed in North Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS, October 5th – Greenway Solar, a Minneapolis based Solar Developer, has joined forces with the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) to install two community solar gardens in the metro area. More than 200 low-income families will benefit from reduced electricity costs when the project is completed by the summer of 2017.
One system will be located on the roof of Impact, a direct marketing company located in North Minneapolis, another will be ground mounted on unused farmland in Northfield. The systems together will generate one Megawatt of solar generation.
“Our goal with this project is to bring the reduced costs and benefits of solar power to low-income households who don’t often get the chance to experience these kinds of programs,” says Katrina Stratton, board chair, MRES. “Statistically these families pay a higher percentage of their income to utilities and are frequently overlooked when these kinds of energy programs are brought to market.”
MRES is a nonprofit dedicated to educating Minnesotans about renewable energy through community projects. MRES board chair Katrina Stratton shared her motivation.
The system on the roof of Impact will be the largest solar installation in the city of Minneapolis when completed and a landmark installation that other real estate developers and communities can learn from. “We are excited to do whatever we can to limit the amount of negative imprint we have on our world,” says Mark Anderson, president, Impact. “We are always looking for ways to positively impact the community around us and hope this initiative will encourage others to follow suit. When we were approached by Greenway Solar we knew this was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up.”
“Greenway Solar got involved in this project because it had clear social aims and a defined impact,” says Paul Krumrich, president, Greenway Solar. “Solar energy is a no brainer on paper, but in reality has many barriers for both community projects and individuals. Our ultimate goal is to create a roadmap for those that follow in our footsteps so access is improved and the barriers removed.”
For more information visit www.greenwaysolar.org.
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NOTES FOR EDITORS:
- Electricity and its generation is the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Switching to solar energy greatly reduces the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere (leading cause of climate change), SO2 emitted into the atmosphere (leading cause of acid rain), and NOX that is emitted into the atmosphere (leading cause of smog).
- The average home that switches to solar energy also has the same environmental impact as planting 200 trees a year. Join one of Greenway Solar’s community solar gardens and start helping our Minnesotans health, the health of wildlife, and Minnesota’s natural environment.
- How Does a Community Solar Garden Work?
First a location suitable for a community solar garden needs to be determined. This can either be a large building roof that has been built in the past five years and is free of shade, or a large open field. Solar panels are then installed to produce renewable energy. Those that choose to subscribe then purchase a percentage of the solar created by the community solar garden. The power created by the subscriber’s percentage of the garden, which they pay significantly less for, is then credited to that subscriber’s utility bill.
- How Do I get involved?
If you are interested in subscribing to a Community Solar Garden or just want to learn more, please visit Greenway Solar’s website: greenwaysolar.org.