Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have talked a lot this campaign season about trying to secure "energy independence" for the United States, but one Southwest Minneapolis neighborhood is actually trying to make that a reality.
On Oct. 16, the Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) launched a new program called "Solarize" Kingfield, aimed at converting many of the neighborhood's homes and businesses to solar power. Residents "in and around Kingfield" are eligible to participate in the program.
According to a written statement from the neighborhood group, by trying to get as many homeowners and businesses as possible to install solar collector systems, they will be able to take advantage of things like bulk purchase discounts and state and federal incentive programs, opening up access to renewable energy for even more people.
To make this dream a reality, the KFNA says they're offering several "unbiased" workshops over the next few months to help residents figure out if solar arrays can work effectively on their homes, financing options through a Minneapolis company called Applied Energy Innovations, and help with installation and permitting. The workshops are sponsored by several solar-powered local businesses: Mulroy’s Body Shop, Twin Town Guitars, Pat’s Tap, and Quality Coaches.
The KFNA estimates that out-of-pocket expenses for a homeowner installing their panels through "Solarize Kingfield" would run between $5,000 and $10,000. Registration for the workshops costs $20, and can be done online or by contacting KFNA Executive Director Sarah Linnes-Robinson at (612) 823-5980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.