Brooklyn Park to move forward with large solar panel installation plan
Brooklyn Park is narrowing down its options for a solar power system project that would power city buildings and reduce the city’s power bill.
If adopted, the city would be provided rooftop mounted solar panels on six city-owned buildings, which would be purchased, installed, owned and operated by a private tax investor for 20 years.
The city would agree to buy power generated by the solar panels from the tax investor before purchasing it from Xcel Energy, thereby reducing the city’s power bill. Xcel would also provide the city with financial incentives for such a program, which would also generate savings for the city.
In return, the investor would receive federal tax incentives for its part in the program, a federal investment tax credit worth approximately 30 percent the total system cost and accelerated depreciation tax incentives.
The investor makes an approximate 6-8 percent return on the investment.
After 20 years, the city would be given the solar panels and be able to produce electricity at no cost.
Apex Efficiency Solutions has identified tax investors who want to partner with the city and Apex to bring the project to fruition.
If the city decides to implement this plan, it would have one of the largest city-sponsored solar panel installations in the state, according to Dan Ruiz, operations and maintenance director. Approximately 65 percent of the power used in city facilities would be renewable after implementation, he said. The city would then look at other options for renewable power that could further reduce dependence on the Xcel grid.