The Court International Building in St. Paul hosts the largest solar array in the city.|PHOTO BY IPS Solar

Minnesota’s Green Line — light rail which connects downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul — is set to demonstrate the value of using distributed energy resources to reduce or defer new investments in electrical infrastructure along such electrified transit lines. Spanning several building rooftops along the Green Line rail corridor, the four solar developments collectively generate 1 MW of electricity and will produce about 7% of the electricity consumed by the 11-mile transit line. The project is the result of a partnership between IPS Solar, WGL Energy (DC-based), and Xcel Energy, the utility serving the line. Participating commercial real estate owners gradually embraced the third-party ownership model of the project, but leasing their roof space to developers while lowering their energy bills by about 20% helped convince them to make this project a reality.

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