What if all schools in Minnesota utilized solar power?
Imagine this headline in the near future: “All Schools in Minnesota Utilize Solar Power.” Wouldn’t it be amazing if solar energy powered the education of our state’s 845,404 students? It might not be so far off. Most schools in Minnesota do not currently have solar, but there has never been a better time for them to take advantage of clean energy opportunities. A dramatic drop in the cost of solar panels, combined with new financing choices, has now made solar widely available.
Building and programming a 120-pound robot that can drive, pivot, and pick things up is part of the challenge Minnesota’s more than 200 high school robotics teams are getting set to take on as the official “build season” begins in January. But during the off-season, the Plaid Pillagers, a high school robotics team in Morris, solved an engineering puzzle even more complex—finding a way to turn renewable energy into a sustainable source of funding for their high school team.
Re-Energize Maplewood! was a yearlong initiative intended to increase energy efficiency and solar in the community. The results? Maplewood has laid the groundwork for reshaping their energy future and meeting their ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. We spoke with Shann Finwall, Environmental Planner, to learn more about the effort.
"A great asset and opportunity for years to come!”
Each day over 3,600 students fill the hallways and classrooms of South St. Paul Public Schools, whose mission is to “Ignite a passion in every learner to inquire, continuously improve and engage in positively changing our world.” In January 2019, the school board for the district made a major step forward in continuous improvement and positive change by authorizing district staff to enter into an agreement to consider installing solar panels at Kaposia Elementary.
Lincoln Park project will also serve as art gallery & community space
Next year visitors traveling to downtown Duluth will be able to see a solar array producing energy benefitting veterans and low-income families alongside an outdoor art gallery highlighting the Lincoln Park community.
Also: Automating public building benchmarking with custom software
Warren knows more about the building infrastructure of its community than any other city in the state. Located in northwestern Minnesota, the town of 1,600 used drones to capture thermal imaging to benchmark their community’s buildings. For Warren city officials the focus will now be on how to improve energy efficiency using the state-of-the-art images.