Solar power coming soon to several Minneapolis parks

This fall solar power projects are expected to be installed at three Minneapolis parks: Webber Park, East Phillips Park and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. Another solar project is planned at Lake Nokomis Main Beach, but the schedule and final details are still being worked out. Some preparatory site work may take place in the fall, but the majority of work at Lake Nokomis will likely occur in the spring/early summer 2017.

The solar projects are the result of a $969,000 grant from the Xcel Energy Renewable Development Fund and $150,000 contribution from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) Renewable Development Fund. The project’s first (and largest) solar installation is already operating at Parade Ice Garden. Please read a June 2016 news release for more information about the Parade solar installation.

Project Summaries

East Phillips Park
Location: Roof of East Phillips Community and Cultural Center
Size: 21 panels, 7 kW
Estimated annual production: 8,442 kW
Estimated percentage of annual park energy use supplied: 6.8%

Lake Nokomis Park
Location: Roof of new shade structure at Lake Nokomis Main Beach
Size: 18 panels, 7 kW
Estimated annual production: 8,856 kW
Estimated percentage of annual beach energy use supplied: 10.9%

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
Location: Roof of multipurpose room
Size: 20 panels, 6.7kW
Estimated annual production: 8,040 kW
Estimated percentage of annual park energy use supplied: 4.8%

Webber Park
Location: Roof of Webber Natural Swimming Pool pump house
Size: 16 panels, 4.56 kW
Estimated annual production: 5,472 kW
Estimated percentage of annual pool energy use supplied: 3.7%

Education and Savings

Annually, the combined projects are expected to produce roughly 280,000 kilowatt hours of power, offsetting 400,000 pounds of carbon emissions and reducing MPRB electricity bills by roughly $28,000. This project will also include interpretive and educational programming opportunities about sustainable solar energy for both children and adults in Minneapolis parks.