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PACE counties and stories
Peter Lindstrom
Fri, 09/21/2018 - 3:45pm
From the Greenway Office Building in Minneapolis to Timm’s Trucking in Morristown and from AirCorps Aviation in Bemidji to the First National Bank in Saint Paul, businesses are benefitting from solar and efficiency improvements with no up-front costs and streamlined payments through their property tax assessments. Updated map: 63 of Minnesota...
Treasure Island Center
Peter Lindstrom
Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:48am
Go Wild, LLC secured $6.74 million in PACE financing as part of its capital stack for the Treasure Island Center redevelopment project in Saint Paul, Minnesota. PACE funds will be used for energy efficiency upgrades that are projected to cut utility costs by 40 to 60 percent, decreasing from $1.2 million per year to between $480,000 and $720,000. Treasure Island Center is a major, mixed-use redevelopment project scheduled for completion this fall. The former Macy’s department store in downtown Saint Paul will now be home to TRIA Rink, a fully enclosed rooftop ice arena that will be used by the Minnesota Wild as a practice facility. Other uses include a two-story Walgreens, Stacked Deck Brewing, a TRIA Orthopaedic medical clinic, offices for the St. Paul Police Department and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, a fitness center, a restaurant, and an event center. The former...
Solar PV on top of Timm's Trucking in Morristown, MN
Chris Meyer
Tue, 01/17/2017 - 10:55am
Electricity at Timm’s Trucking in Morristown is now provided by the company’s new 30.5 kW Solar PV array, locking in today’s energy costs for years to come. Business owner Randy Timm described the double benefit of installing a renewable energy system that was “not only good for the environment, but saved money on my electric bills and improved my bottom line.” “I’d been looking at different ways to save money on some of our utility bills and solar seemed like a natural option,” said Timm, who knew there was money to be saved on this deal. “It just made sense. It adds value to the business and our building site.” The solar project was financed through an innovative new Minnesota program called Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE. PACE is designed to advance adoption of energy...
Solar array financed with PACE atop the Greenway Office Building in Minneapolis
Diana McKeown
Wed, 11/02/2016 - 3:30pm
The Greenway Office Building—located a block from the intersection of Lake Street and Hiawatha in Minneapolis—epitomizes green buildings both in design and location. Built in 1999 by the Green Institute (a former CERTs partner organization), the building includes solar PV, geothermal heating and cooling, and a green roof. Constructed to many of the design points of LEED (Leadership Energy Efficient Design) this ENERGY STAR building hosts many nonprofit and for-profit tenants working toward better housing and a more energy independent future. Wellington Management recently utilized PACE financing to replace the building’s aging solar PV array. What is 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...
Working on a plane in the newly insulated AirCorps Aviation shop
Anna Carlson
Thu, 10/13/2016 - 12:28pm
Bemidji’s AirCorps Aviation specializes in the restoration, maintenance, and rebuilding of vintage WWII aircraft. They’re now working from more comfortable, well-lit, and energy-efficient buildings thanks to lighting and insulation improvements financed with PACE. What is 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. To learn more about the project, we interviewed Sara Zimmerman, Business Coordinator at AirCorps Aviation.   What motivated you to apply for...
First National Bank getting energy performance overhaul financed with PACE
Joel Haskard
Thu, 09/08/2016 - 2:00pm
The 417-foot, 32-story First National Bank Building in downtown Saint Paul was constructed in 1931 and competed with New York City’s Empire State Building for construction materials. Madison Equities, the new owner of the building as of winter 2015, worked with Petros PACE Finance and the Saint Paul Port Authority to make $6.8 million in energy efficiency upgrades ($5M from Petros and $1.8M from SPPA), including energy management, HVAC, LED lighting, and occupancy sensors. These improvements are expected to reduce energy consumption and related costs by 35-40%. Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE...
Anna Knott, owner of Knott's Corner Bar & Grill in Lucan
Joel Haskard
Wed, 07/13/2016 - 9:04am
Folks in Redwood County might know Knott’s Corner Bar and Grill in the town of Lucan (pop. 191) for their delicious Buffalo Wings. What they might not know is that the business has become much more energy efficient and is saving energy dollars with the help of the Rural Minnesota Energy Board’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Not familiar with 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. After a couple years successfully running Knott’s Corner,...
Robin Weis (left) and Gene Metz (right) helped Maria Paarga find funding for energy efficient upgrades in Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant. Alex Chhith/Daily Globe
Joel Haskard
Wed, 06/08/2016 - 12:21pm
If you happen to be in Worthington, be sure and stop into Mini Market Lupita for a delicious lunch in the restaurant or to shop at the attached grocery store. Owner Maria Parga has created a great place, and she has done so partly by working with economic development partners in the region to take advantage of existing programs to reduce her energy costs. Working with the Southwest Initiative Foundation and the Clean Energy Resource Teams, Parga was awarded a $20,000 grant from the USDA Renewable Energy for America Program (REAP). Mini Market Lupita had been using open-faced refrigeration stations and freezer chests for years, but with help from the grant, Parga was able to offset...
Hi-Lo Supper Club & Catering
Joel Haskard
Wed, 06/08/2016 - 11:37am
Sid and Nadine Malchow own the Hi-Lo Supper Club & Catering in Lakefield, MN, and have been an important thread in their community’s fabric over the years. In fact, the Hi-Lo Restaurant & Catering has been proudly serving Southwest Minnesota and Northern Iowa with fine dining for over 65 years, and the Malchows have been providing catering services for over 25 years. Now, thanks to Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, they were able to make lots of improvements to their establishment. Among other things, they upgraded their lighting on their exterior, the main floor and the basement, installed efficient air conditioning and fan motors, and upgraded the furnaces in the main dining room and food preparation area. “PACE allowed this business to make several energy saving improvements...
Main Street Repeats Thrift Store
Annette Fiedler
Thu, 05/26/2016 - 7:23am
If you are in Good Thunder (pop. 583) looking for a fun thrift store to update your home décor, stop into Main Street Repeats. Owners George and Maureen Spear not only have great deals awaiting the discerning customer, they also know a great deal when they see one: they recently upgraded their lights to LEDs using the Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. Located in Blue Earth County, Main Street Repeats recently worked with the Southwest Regional Development Commission utilize PACE. After an energy audit performed by Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), the LED lighting project was going to cost $9,980. They wisely turned to their electric utility, Xcel Energy, to claim the $1,728 in lighting rebates, knocked the price down to $8,252. According...
Blue Line Travel Center in Worthington, MN
Annette Fiedler
Mon, 03/07/2016 - 8:14am
Updated March 7, 2016 with indoor lighting project details. Larry and Deb Potter own Blue Line Travel Center in Worthington, MN. For a long time they thought about saving energy with lighting upgrades, but they could not find the right financing to get it done. When they attended a seminar hosted by the Rural Minnesota Energy Board on their new Property-Assessed Clean Energy (or PACE) program, it shed new light on their goals. With the financing received through RMEB’s PACE program, as well as rebates from Worthington Public Utilities and a grant through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), the Potters have made the needed updates to the canopy and...
Water Street Inn
Peter Lindstrom
Tue, 02/09/2016 - 4:02pm
When Chuck Dougherty, owner of the Water Street Inn and Cover Park Manor in Stillwater, began researching solar panel installation, the high cost of the project made the upgrade seem unlikely. Then his preferred solar panel company recommended he apply for Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. According to Dougherty, the Saint Paul Port Authority’s PACE program was quick and easy to understand. The team at Water Street Inn and Cover Park Manor are looking forward to increased energy savings and reducing their impact on the environment. In fact, Chuck has already recommended the program to other businesses and property owners. “We wanted to install solar panels on two properties in the Stillwater area,” said hotel owner Chuck Dougherty. “We would not have been able to...
Holiday Station in Worthington finances energy improvements with PACE
Joel Haskard
Tue, 12/22/2015 - 12:24pm
If you’re in Worthington, stop by Bob & Steve’s Holiday gas station sometime and check out the energy efficiency work they have done on the exterior and interior. The recent projects funded by PACE included LED lights, new coolers and compressors, and new HVAC. “The PACE program was introduced to us by Larry Potter at Blue Line Truck Stop,” says owner Bob Raudenbush. “With a phone call and some very helpful information from Robin Weis at the Southwest Regional Development Commission (SRDC), we jumped at the chance to lower our energy costs.” According to the energy audit from Rick Otten, Certified Energy Manager. these projects...
Photo credit: MN Dragons Chung Do Kwan - Tyler, MN
Joel Haskard
Tue, 12/22/2015 - 10:27am
Patricia Torkelson owns the Main Street Do Jong in Tyler, Minnesota (home of the MN Dragons Chung Do Kwan group). It’s a busy place, with Tae Kwon Do, LifeFit, and even line dancing classes. Now, thanks to Property Accessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, people will be getting in shape under better lighting and the business will be saving money. “We used to have these big fluorescent lights, but we do martial arts and fitness in there, and we don’t want lights that can be broken easily,” says Torkelson. “Now we have new LED lights that are even with the ceiling, and they’re much more energy efficient.” According to the energy audit, these improvements will result in $454 or 77% in annual energy savings. The return on investment is shown at 11.4 years. The new LED lights are projected to run for 60,000 hours or...
PACE in southern MN
Annette Fiedler
Thu, 05/28/2015 - 9:47am
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 spoke with Richard Otten, a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), to learn more about the energy audits of businesses he provides, some of which are done for the Rural Minnesota Energy Board (RMEB) commercial PACE program. CERTs: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business. Richard Otten: My name is Richard Otten. I have been a CEM (Certified Energy Manager) since 2011. The Association of Energy Engineers provides this certification. I...
Excelen is saving major energy through improvements financed by PACE
Anthony D'Amico
Wed, 05/13/2015 - 1:43pm
Excelen is an independent, nonprofit research and education organization that educates and assists orthopedic researchers as they develop innovative surgical and rehabilitative techniques. Located in downtown Minneapolis, with over 10,000 square feet of floor space, Excelen is currently one of the fastest growing research labs in the Twin Cities. To assist in this growth, Excelen recently used PACE to double its investment in new mechanical equipment and building controls. The center’s executive director, Tom Mowbray, called PACE “an incredible tool for companies who want to complete energy-related projects. We already have 25 percent energy savings showing up our electric bill.” Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a new way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to the buildings of commercial property owners...
Otten Bros. Flower Farm in Delano, MN added solar with PACE
Diana McKeown
Tue, 04/21/2015 - 9:28am
For over half a century, Otten Bros. Garden Center and Landscaping has been harnessing the power of the sun to grow plants and create beautiful spaces. With this history, it seemed like a natural step to use sunlight to power their business, and the Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program through Saint Paul Port Authority made it easy to pay for the installation. 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 spoke with John O’...
Parkwood Place in Mountain Lake, MN
Annette Fiedler
Tue, 04/21/2015 - 8:19am
Parkwood Place in Mountain Lake, MN provides assisted living and senior care options for elderly adults. They recently utilized the Rural Minnesota Energy Board’s Property Assessed Clean Energy—or PACE—program to finance energy efficiency upgrades in their facility. Through PACE, energy-saving measures pursued by Parkwood Place received project financing and will be 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 chatted with Bill Freitag, President of JAND Development who owns Parkwood Place, to learn more about their experience and the work they accomplished using PACE. CERTs: What motivated you to apply for PACE funding? Bill Freitag: I received a mailer with the utility bill for Parkwood Place that offered PACE...
Jay Miller with new solar array on Crankshaft Supply roof
Trevor Drake
Tue, 04/21/2015 - 8:12am
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...
Solar at Cozy Corners Campground | Photo copyright Jason Wachter, St. Cloud Times
Anthony D'Amico
Tue, 04/21/2015 - 7:29am
When Cozy Corners Campground in Richmond, Minnesota is at maximum capacity during the busy summer months, the facility’s electric bill can top $10,000 a month. Driven by a desire to make a positive environmental impact as well as reduce these astronomical bills, owners George and Kathy Meyers decided to install solar panels at the campground. The panels are expected to generate approximately 15% of the campground’s electricity. This is the first project in Stearns County to utilize the assistance of Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE through the Saint Paul Port Authority’s program. 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...
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