Three Communities Welcome MMPA Hometown Solar Installations

August 30, 2017

With three new installations in 2017, MMPA’s Hometown Solar Program is now operating in six Minnesota communities.

The sun is powering new learning tools in the Minnesota communities of Anoka, East Grand Forks,  and North St. Paul this school year, resulting from solar grant awards provided by each city’s wholesale electrical supplier, the Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (MMPA).

The 5-kilowatt solar arrays have been installed at Anoka High School, South Point Elementary School, and North High/District Education Center. The installations are part of MMPA’s Hometown Solar Grant Program, an extension of its Energy Education Program for its  member municipalities.

Six of the twelve MMPA member communities now host Hometown Solar installations. The Agency plans to provide additional grant opportunities over the coming years so that every MMPA community has the opportunity to participate.

The Program provides an opportunity for students and residents to learn about the characteristics and benefits of solar power. Information and data from the solar array will be shared within the school districts to support energy education in the classroom.

Penny Baker, the North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale district’s Curriculum and Pathway Coordinator, said, “Students and teachers will be able to access a technology platform that provides real-world data from the solar panels. Teachers at North and Tartan high schools attended workshops and developed units this summer that apply to several courses in which alternative energy content will be embedded.”

Dr. Jim Torkelson, Principal of South Point Elementary School in East Grand Forks said, “We are proud to host the Hometown Solar installation at our school. This will be a great learning tool.”

Since 2010, MMPA’s Energy Education Program has provided learning opportunities for nearly 13,000 elementary school students in MMPA member communities through classroom information, in-school assemblies and tours.

MMPA Chairman John Crooks of Shakopee said, “Hometown Solar is a great demonstration of how the Agency provides value to our member communities.”