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Efforts win 2013 Environmental Initiative Award
MINNEAPOLIS – The Energy Innovation Corridor today announced that its 21 partners have avoided more than 1.8 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions since 2010 via their collective energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart technology and transportation efforts.
That’s the equivalent of removing more than 173,000 cars from the road or enough energy to power nearly 43,000 homes for a year. These statistics are based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator.
The results are the sum of the Energy Innovation Corridor’s four main focus areas:
• Energy efficiency projects such as lighting retrofits and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified buildings, which saved more than 218 million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 7.5 million therms of natural gas.
• Renewable energy from biomass, solar, Windsource® and hydro power, which generated more than 871 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
• Two-way communication and intelligent centralized software, which helped a smart technology pilot project minimize system losses on the electricity distribution system to save nearly 1 million kilowatt-hours of energy.
• Plug-in electric vehicles added to fleets and car-sharing programs, which avoided 150,000 pounds of carbon.
The EIC’s efforts recently won a 2013 Environmental Initiative award in the energy and climate protection category. Environmental Initiative is a nonprofit organization that builds partnerships to develop collaborative solutions to environmental problems through events, policy and projects.
“Xcel Energy is excited to have worked with our partners to develop a sustainable model for collaborating on smart energy initiatives, including transportation,” said Dave Sparby, president and CEO, Northern States Power Co.-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. “More than anything, this project illustrates the real impact communities can have when we work together.”
The Energy Innovation Corridor is a clean energy and transportation showcase that offers a wide range of energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative transportation and smart technology tools and programs to local businesses and residents. It lies along the 11-mile Central Corridor Light Rail Line between Minneapolis and St. Paul.
As incentives to get the community involved, the partners provide a variety of programs, rebates, financing and services to residents and businesses along the corridor and in their greater service territories.
Businesses have enrolled in electricity and natural gas saving programs through which they buy high efficiency lights, motors, boilers or other equipment to earn rebates and decrease their energy bills. Another initiative, called the Kilowatt Crackdown, pits buildings against each other to see who can achieve the most energy savings during a year.
“Minneapolis treasures the partnerships of the Energy Innovation Corridor and its role in the changing market,” said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak. “The energy landscape in this country is transforming; energy efficiency and clean energy generation, outreach and policy are becoming standard. We all must continue compounding the EIC successes to save money, create jobs and provide a clean, safe environment for our children.”
“The Energy Innovation Corridor is a crucial partner in transforming how we think about and address energy,” said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “This isn't just the EIC's success, but a success shared with the nation. We must continue with efforts like this, which not only create jobs in a growing market but will let our children inherit a cleaner, energy-smarter community.”
Among the most successful residential programs is the Home Energy Squad, which provides home energy assessments with immediate on-site implementation of low-cost energy-saving measures such as installing compact fluorescent light bulbs, weather stripping and programmable thermostats in homes.
Other projects include bike and car sharing initiatives, the installation of electric vehicle charging stations and a program that allows residents to borrow PowerCheck meters from local libraries to learn how much energy is used by various appliances in their homes.
To learn more about the Energy Innovation Corridor and sign up for an e-newsletter visit: www.energyinnovationcorridor.com.
Energy Innovation Corridor partners: Center for Energy and Environment ● CenterPoint Energy ● City of Minneapolis ● City of Saint Paul ● District Energy St. Paul ● Division of Energy Resources, Minnesota Department of Commerce ● Drive Electric Minnesota ● Greater Minneapolis BOMA ● Greater Saint Paul BOMA ● Hennepin County ● Midway Area Chamber of Commerce ● Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce ● Neighborhood Energy Connection ● Nice Ride Minnesota ● NRG Energy Center Minneapolis ● Ramsey County ● Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce ● Saint Paul Port Authority ● Science Museum of Minnesota ● University of Minnesota ● Xcel Energy
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