Crankshaft Supply in Minneapolis goes solar with help from PACE financing

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Jay Miller with new solar array on Crankshaft Supply roof

Recycling is at the core of Jay Miller’s company, Crankshaft Supply. The 50-year-old Minneapolis business remanufactures engine parts, saving the expense of having to manufacture new parts and repurposing old parts for productive use. Following this low-impact mission, Crankshaft recently utilized PACE financing through the Saint Paul Port Authority to install a solar array on their roof that will cover half of their electricity needs.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the buildings of commercial property owners in cities and counties that allow it. Energy-saving measures pursued by the owners receive project financing and are repaid as a separate item on their property tax assessment for a set period. PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

We interviewed Jay to learn more about his experience with PACE and the solar installation.


CERTs: What motivated you to apply for PACE financing?

Jay Miller: The PACE program was a nice fit for us. Trying to be green and make use of existing resources is core to the work we do. However, while it’s a wonderful idea to be green, green initiatives also have to make good sound business sense, which tax advantages and PACE make possible.

CERTs: How was the experience of going through Saint Paul Port Authority’s PACE program?

Jay Miller: We were one of the first businesses to use PACE funding for this type of solar project, so the process took a little longer than we expected. But we stuck with it and the results were wonderful.

CERTs: What will the project entail and how did PACE help make it possible?

Jay Miller: The project was a 40-kW solar array on the rooftop of our building. Traditional banks were not willing to finance the project, so the PACE financing really bridged the gap. We couldn’t have done it without PACE.

CERTs: What are you hoping to get out of the solar project?

Jay Miller: Our goal is to cut our electrical consumption in half, and we expect it will take about 12 years until the costs are paid off.

CERTs: Would you recommend this to other businesses/property owners?

Jay Miller: Absolutely. As I said, it took a combination of traditional funding and PACE to make our project happen, so it is a great resource.

Read a Star Tribune article about the Crankshaft Supply solar project and PACE >>


Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the buildings of commercial property owners.

Energy-saving measures pursued by the owners receive project financing and are repaid as a separate item on their property tax assessment for a set period. PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

See more resources and available programs >>

See more resources and available programs

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    CERTs Partners:

Minnesota Department of Commerce University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships and Extension Great Plains Institute Southwest Regional Development Commission