Solar saves money in Woodbury

Posted In: Communities
Date: 5/23/2019

The City of Woodbury takes seriously its responsibility of role model and demonstrating best practices.

A worker with a clipboard watching a sprinkler system.Included in its comprehensive plan is the goal of using renewable energy sources, such as roof-mounted solar, community solar garden (CSG) subscriptions, and wind energy to provide the equivalent of 100 percent of the energy needs at city facilities.

The city took a big step toward that goal when it began subscribing to community solar gardens.

“Our subscriptions have had a direct benefit to the city in terms of savings on electricity,” said Jennifer McLoughlin, the city’s Sustainability Specialist. “To date, savings to the city have amounted to more than $120,000 from January 2017 to October 2018 and that’s only going to grow.”

The city projects an annual savings of nearly $150,000 a year from CSG subscriptions, in which Xcel Energy gives subscribers credit on their bill for electricity produced at a solar garden.

“It’s an opportunity to save on the city’s electricity bills, while also supporting the development of renewable energy in Minnesota,” said McLoughlin.

But there’s more.

Efficiency and conservation initiatives

The city in 2018 partnered with a local nonprofit on discounted homeowner visits that offer tips on energy efficiency and water conservation. The city is currently evaluating goals for adopting electric vehicles in the city fleet.

And, with water conservation as a priority, the city is putting programs in place to improve efficiencies in lawn irrigation, indoor water use, and stormwater management.

“These are the kinds of things that will make our city more resilient,” said McLoughlin. “We’re investing in our ability to respond, adapt, and thrive under changing conditions and planning for the improved health of residents and our local economy.”

This story was updated in September 2019.

Posted In: Communities

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