Blue Earth County wins sustainability award for energy project

Oct. 27—The Free Press

MANKATO — Blue Earth County received a Sustainability Award for its Energy Efficiency Project.

Commissioner Vance Stuehrenberg accepted the award at the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association's annual Gateway to Solar Conference.

The county project uses millions of dollars in federal funding that can be used for a variety of infrastructure projects.

Blue Earth County is using $3.8 million for energy efficiency, primarily countywide LED lighting and lighting control upgrades.

The second focus is adding electric charging stations at each of the county buildings, about 20 stations in all. Most will be fast-charging stations.

The last area will relate to a new public works campus, if and when it is built. There would be a main shop building and a separate cold-storage building.

Plans are to put a 200kW solar panel on the roof of the cold-storage building, at a cost of $400,00 to $500,000, to provide energy for the campus.