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RiverCentre Project to Showcase Energy Savings Made Possible Through Recovery Act
Partnership with Department of Energy to Keep Saint Paul in the Forefront of Sustainability Efforts across the Country

April 6, 2010

SAINT 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."

The City 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.


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