Minneapolis Convention Center 

1301 2nd Ave S

Array of 2,613 solar photovoltaic panels producing 750,000 kWh annually

Equivalent to powering 85 homes annually while offsetting 539 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions (the amount given off by 60,587 gallons of gasoline)

Cost: $2 million through Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund

Complete: 2010


Check out this YouTube video highlighting the Convention Center’s solar array!


The Minneapolis Convention Center (MCC) employs sustainable practices in many of its operations, including waste management, cleaning, food services, and energy. This includes the largest solar pv array in the Upper Midwest on the Convention Center’s roof. The system is owned and operated by Best Power International and privately financed using a purchase power agreement (PPA). It was one of the first large-scale rooftop PV system in a cold climate region in the United States. All of the components (modules, rack, and inverters) were made in the United States. The project provided over 3,000 hours of on-the-job training towards NABCEP certification for electricians. This solar energy system offsets about 539 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of reducing CO2 emissions from 60,587 gallons of gasoline or 1,253 barrels of oil.

Operational Savings:

• Multi-stream containers collect 2.2 tons of recyclables per month. The MCC recycles 98 percent of cardboard and 100 tons of food waste annually

• A $3.3 million roof replacement in 2009 reused and recycled 100 percent of existing roofing materials

• EcoMod escalator retrofits preserve the structural steel framing and truss work along with finish materials

• Low flow and automatic shut off devices conserve water and sewer resources

• Energy-saving and green cleaning products and equipment are utilized

Energy Savings:

• A rooftop solar array produces over 750,000 kWh of renewable electric energy per year, allowing the MCC to purchase less energy from the grid. 

• Indoor air temperature policy maximizes efficiency while maintaining client comfort

• Heating and cooling systems monitored to ensure spaces are conditioned only when needed

Carbon Savings:

• Renewable Choice Energy offers Green Your Event packages that include certified renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by wind farms or other renewable energy projects across the United States and Canada and verified carbon offsets from projects that reduce carbon emissions entering the atmosphere

Community Economic Benefits: 

• Kelber Catering uses locally sourced produce and bulk condiments when possible as well as reusable and biodegradable dishes and flatware 

• Food prep waste and surplus food is donated through Second Harvest Heartland, People Serving People, St. Paul Evangelical Food Mission, and Kid’s Cafe


Last updated May 10, 2016