April 6, 2010
PAUL – With help from a federal grant, the Saint Paul RiverCentre has replaced
the lighting in their parking ramp with more energy efficient fixtures. The
project is the first of many in Saint Paul utilizing $2.8 million in American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds awarded to the City by the U.S. Department
of Energy last fall.
“RiverCentre’s new fixtures represent Saint Paul’s
commitment to energy efficiency and conservation,” Mayor Coleman said. “This
grant money is helping the City, businesses, and residents make their buildings
more energy efficient while saving money and creating jobs in this new, green
economy. It also allows the City to invest in infrastructure that keeps us on
the leading edge of developing energy alternatives and sustainability.”
By replacing over 900 old fixtures, RiverCentre will reduce the ramp's
electricity use by 47% percent and and have an annual savings of approximately
$66,000. While the project cost $126,006.82, only $44,102.39 came from the grant
with Xcel Energy providing $73,031.62 in rebates and $8,872.81 coming from
RiverCentre Capital Funds.
"This conversion represents another exciting
milestone for our convention center," said Karolyn Kirchgesler, President and
CEO of Visit Saint Paul. "This takes us one step closer to our goal of becoming
a leader in green meetings and is further validation of the extent to which we
are going to implement new cost saving, conservation measures."
will also utilize more than $1 million of the grant to upgrade and improve
City-owned buildings like recreation centers, libraries and other publicly-owned
facilities. This includes installing energy efficient lights as well as
improving overall energy use, saving the City more than 2 million kilowatt hours
of energy. The improvements are estimated to pay for themselves in less than
three years. Other funds will be used to pilot energy efficient street lighting
using Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamps.
In addition to the RiverCentre
renovations, the grant money is being used by the City to develop solar marquee
charging stations, on-street stations and parking ramp stations to support Saint
Paul’s effort to advance electric vehicles.
Now entering his second
term, Mayor Coleman has actively pushed the City to take a leading role on
sustainability and improving its impact on the environment. The City built the
state’s first LEED-Gold certified police station and a new energy efficient fire
station and headquarters that also includes a green roof which is slated to open
by the end of April.
The City is also working with Xcel Energy, District
Energy, Ramsey County, City of Minneapolis and other partners to create a
sustainable energy and transportation showcase - the Energy Innovation Corridor.
The first-of-its-kind, this clean energy and transportation model extends along
the 11-mile Central Corridor light rail transit project route from the Union
Depot in downtown Saint Paul to Target Field in downtown Minneapolis, along
University and Washington Avenues, via the Minnesota State Capitol and entire
University of Minnesota-Minneapolis campus.