Renewable energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass can provide energy for your facility. Some companies have benefitted from installing solar panels, while others have purchased wind energy through their utility company. Retrofitting your facility to use renewable sources of energy can be an intensive and costly project. Before begining a renewable energy project, you should carefully consider what technologies best meet your facility's needs.
The following technologies help businesses use renewable energy sources. MnTAP does not endorse these technologies, but highlights them to provide you with examples of what other companies have implemented.
- SolarWall: This patented solar air heating system heats building ventilation air and can offset traditional heating load. It is typically installed on roofs or walls and the energy can be used for a variety of applications including process functions. This technology has been installed at a Minneapolis police station, a school site in Minneapolis, and at Aveda Corporation.
- Wind Energy: Wind power supplies up to 60% of the University of Minnesota-Morris’ electricity needs. The renewable energy turbine, which began generating power in March 2005, produces 5.6 million kilowatt hours of power each year for UMM.
- Geothermal: Great River Energy's Big Lake facility is LEED certified and includes a geothermal heating and cooling system. According to the company, "the geothermal system uses the relatively constant underground temperature to both heat and cool the space. The vehicle areas and perimeter office space are heated with in-floor radiant heat from the geothermal heat pump."
Resources for More Information
- Minnesota Renewable Energy Society
- Institute on the Environment – Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, University of Minnesota
- Northern Minnesota Renewable Energy Center
- Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs)
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