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Midwest’s largest solar thermal array sits atop St. Paul RiverCentre

Billed as the largest solar thermal installation in the Midwest, 144 panels sitting atop St. Paul’s RiverCentre convention center will be officially unveiled Friday morning, with much ado from dignitaries.

Officials say the panels will generate 1 megawatt of energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 900,000 pounds annually, the equivalent to eliminating 90 vehicles per year. Funding came from a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar American Communities project and matching funds from District Energy St. Paul.

On hand for the event will be: Mayor Chris Coleman; Congresswoman Betty McCollum; Bill Grant, deputy commerce commissioner for energy & telecommunications; Ken Smith, president of District Energy St. Paul; Vipin Gupta, U.S. Department of Energy solar technology developer; and Karolyn Kirchgesler, president and CEO of Visit Saint Paul.

They’ll view the installation from the 10th floor of the nearby Landmark Towers building and then tour the installation on the RiverCentre roof.

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