In a first for the region, U.S. Bank and Microgrid Solar have joined together to boost renewable energy and help more than 50 local nonprofit institutions save thousands of dollars in energy costs and direct more money toward fulfilling their missions.
Microgrid and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the community development subsidiary of U.S. Bank, are financing the installation and operation of up to 120 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to benefit 56 nonprofit organizations.
The mass installation of solar systems is a first for the St. Louis region,
said Microgrid Chief Executive Officer Rick Hunter.
Each 25 kilowatt solar installation will produce approximately 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, enough to save these nonprofits tens of thousands of dollars in reduced utility bills.
Site installations have already been completed for dozens of area schools and institutions including:
- SLU High School
New City School
St. Louis Area Foodbank
Missouri History Museum
The solar power installations are taking place at additional participating nonprofits through December 2014. The program is closed to new participants, but may re-open in the future.
“This project totals 3 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity that is being installed at some of the most well-known nonprofit organizations and schools in the St. Louis area,” Hunter said. “We think this will have a major impact, not only for the organizations, but for improving awareness and education around solar in the St. Louis area generally.”
“This is a unique financing program that is really a first nationally, and which essentially provides solar to a nonprofit organization at zero budgetary cost,” Hunter added.
USBCDC works with solar system installation firms around the nation to help businesses and homeowners add PV systems to their offices and homes, saving utility costs and reducing pollution and U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum.
“Reliable solar power is a great investment for businesses, communities, and financiers alike,” said Dan Siegel, vice president of USBCDC. “We’re proud to leverage our renewable energy expertise and support to create opportunities for sustainability in St. Louis.”
Last year, USBCDC also partnered with Microgrid to install solar on its U.S. Bank branch in Clayton at Forsyth Boulevard and Hanley Road. Microgrid has since installed solar at 8 additional US Bank branch offices in the St. Louis area.
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.