MINNEAPOLIS – Unspecified Minneapolis city officials told City Pages recently that they are hoping they can move the city to relying entirely on renewable energy sources for its power by 2022.
Currently the city uses renewable energy sources for only about 18 percent of its energy needs, City Pages reported. A combination of increased usage of renewable energy and new energy efficient plans for the city’s lighting is supposed to make up the difference.
Minneapolis Energy Manager Brian Millberg told City Pages that the city’s replacement of every single fluorescent lightbulb with energy-efficient LED lightbulbs could end up reducing the city’s total energy usage by up to 15 percent. This includes all light bulbs in every public building and every street lamp across the city.
On the increased renewable energy output side of the equation, last year Minneapolis signed a community solar garden contract for a small part of its energy, reports City Pages. Millberg told City Pages that he estimates that by 2022 Minneapolis could rely on such sources of energy for up to 10 percent of its total energy needs. City Pages believes that if Minneapolis wants to reach its final end goal, it will need to spend more than $10 million on solar panels to be installed wherever there is space, including on water treatment facilities. An increased renewable energy contract with Xcel Energy would also be necessary, and those actions might bring the city up to having two-thirds of its energy sources coming from renewable energy sources, at the cost of increased charges totalling up to $500,000 per year.
St. Paul has also moved forward with plans to increase the share of its energy usage that comes through renewable sources, including the use of solar gardens, Alpha News reported previously.
City Council Member John Quincy did not immediately respond to Alpha News’ requests for comment on Minneapolis’ renewable energy plans.