From the outside of Kroening Interpretive Center the visitor notices huge windows that utilize natural light. These windows help to illuminate the exhibits that tell about the park and programs that are offered at North Mississippi Park. One new exhibit that has been added is the solar power kiosk. This kiosk gives visitors the opportunity to learn which solar panels are being used on top of the building and the amount of power that each panel is bringing in. One of the hopes from this project is that people will better understand how much sun exposure Minnesota receives and how beneficial this can be to energy consumption and the environment.
The installation of solar panels at Kroening Interpretive Center just finished this past June. The project added 34 PV solar panels with micro inverters to the south end of its roof. The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment provided $1 million to fund the installation of the solar panels and 21 other solar projects around Minnesota. The panels provide approximately 10,600 kilowatt hours per year and will make up 28% of the center’s electricity. Annually, this will save Kroening about $1,330 and in 10 years the project will have paid for itself.
The Kroening Interpretive Center’s original intention was to be a building that was sustainable and conserved energy. The building boasts acoustic ceiling panels that contain renewable and sustainable aspen wood fiber and the carpeting contains recycled plastic, among other environmentally friendly materials. Energy efficiency through the construction and life of the building has been furthered through the Amendment’s funding of this solar project, while also providing an educational experience to the public.
Click here to see how much power the Kroening solar panels are producing and which panels are being used today.
Visiting the Kroening Interpreative Center tomorrow, December 3rd, for a guided hike and scavenger hunt through North Mississippi Park. Meet the National Park Ranger at the Kroening Center at noon for this hour-long event. The hike is just one of many events taking place as part of the Minneapolis Legacy Destination Weekend find more about the hike and the weekend here.