Brooklyn Park now the state's largest solar project; 6,000 solar panels installed |

Brooklyn Park now the state's largest solar project; 6,000 solar panels installed

Updated: July 08, 2019 06:29 PM

The city of Brooklyn Park is now home to Minnesota's largest solar project.

Brooklyn Park Mayor Jeff Lunde said they have installed about 6,000 solar panels throughout the city and can now run on 100% sustainable energy, from their public buildings to their street lights.

RELATED: Minnetonka prepares to go 100% solar by end of the year

"This is a case of we can generate electricity and we can generate power right here in Minnesota, we can create Minnesota jobs, we can do it at cost reductions to the taxpayers and we can reduce carbon emissions," said Governor Tim Walz, at an event unveiling the completed project Monday. 

The city installed the solar panels on many public buildings over the past year, including the police department, fire department, water treatment plant and community activity center.

Mayor Lunde estimates it will save the city $60,000 in electricity costs next year and more than $5.5 million over 25 years.

RELATED: Solar garden comes to Edina

"The question we get: how much did you spend? We spent nothing," Mayor Lunde said. "We worked with investors, we worked with the state and we worked with the federal government to make sure we bring in bonds and grants and tax credits to make this project at no cost to taxpayers."

Gov. Walz said the federal tax credit that helped make this project possible runs out this year, so state lawmakers are looking at ways to fill that gap so other communities throughout the state can follow suit.

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Alex Jokich

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