DNR regional headquarters debuts solar energy system with open house on July 23

NEW ULM – The public is invited to an energy open house at the regional headquarters of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday, July 23, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will highlight the completion of an 83 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system that uses solar energy to generate approximately 80 percent of the facility’s total energy usage. It is the seventh largest photovoltaic system in Minnesota.

PV systems use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. The DNR system uses 330 250-watt panels and a microinverter to develop alternating current to power the building.

The PV system is one of 25 renewable energy systems the DNR has across the state and is one component of an agency-wide plan to reduce total energy usage 20 percent by 2015.

A formal presentation on the PV system will take place at 11 a.m., followed by a tour of the system. DNR staff will be on hand to answer questions about energy use as well as other DNR-related issues. Refreshments will be served.

“We welcome the public to visit our regional office at any time,” according to DNR Regional Director Dennis Frederickson. “But we hope this event will be a reason to stop by and learn more about our efforts to preserve and protect our natural resources through responsible energy use.”

The DNR office is located 1.5 miles south of New Ulm off State Highway 15. For more information, call 507-359-6000.

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