Our District office along Gervais Creek in Little Canada has been a demonstration site for environmentally beneficial practices since it was built in 2005. Now, we’re taking it a step further with a new rooftop solar array that will generate clean power for the building.
Over the past week, Saint Paul-based All Energy Solar set up shop outside the District office to install 150 solar panels capable of producing up to 48kW of electricity, which should cover more than 80 percent of our building’s electrical power.
Payback on the $97,000 project is estimated at 16-19 years with annual energy savings ranging from $4,500 to $8,700, depending on how much utility rates increase during the system’s 25-year production warranty. Over this time, we expect to generate more than 1,000,000 kWh of clean energy.
An online monitoring portal shows how much electricity the system produces each day, along with a running tally of environmental benefits.
The building’s new solar array complements other on-site features designed to manage stormwater and provide vital habitat for insects, birds and small mammals. These include:
- Native prairie plantings
- Eight rain gardens
- Porous asphalt and pavers
- Green roof with living grasses and plants
- Parking lot trench drain
By reducing our carbon footprint through solar, we hope to demonstrate how clean energy and sustainable landscaping can be a natural fit.