Case Studies Prodeo Academy & Metro Schools College Prep of Minneapolis, MN

Prodeo Academy & Metro Schools College Prep: Eye-catching and energy-catching addition to Minneapolis skyline

A high-tech rooftop solar array added to a recently redeveloped Minneapolis North Loop property near Target Field has become a prominent feature on the Minneapolis skyline. The owners of 620 Olson Memorial Highway — home of charter schools Prodeo Academy and Metro Schools College Prep, recently made the decision to convert the building’s rooftops to a sprawling solar array with the help of All Energy Solar. The project was one of the first and largest participants in the 2018 Minneapolis Green Business Solar Cost Share program.

The 300kW flat roof system on the building was installed in August of 2018 and accounts for over 850 individual solar panels across seven different rooftop sections.

Sending a high energy message

“The optics of a big rooftop solar array in a major metropolitan downtown sends a message about how versatile and financially feasible solar has become,” said Michael Allen, president and co-owner of All Energy Solar.  “This North Loop Campus now sports a solar installation that will catch the attention of hundreds of thousands of people from the highways and high-rises nearby. ‘If solar works in snowy Minneapolis, in a location where real estate is in high demand, it must be living up to the hype,’ is the takeaway message.”

“We know the students will be curious and hopefully inspired to see what human ingenuity can accomplish,” Allen said. “After all, it is their generation that will take our clean energy technologies to a whole new level. With this project, there’s an impactful story of environmental responsibility through reduced emissions and a lower carbon footprint in this school building, and that story will come home to more than a thousand students, families, staff and visitors each day.”  

Prodeo Academy is a network of free, public charter schools aimed at providing families in the Twin Cities metro area with a high-quality education option. The Minneapolis Prodeo campus serves scholars in grades PreK to 5th. As an added educational feature, a dedicated monitor installed in each school’s entry lobby will soon live stream the energy saving metrics from the solar installation.

“Our charter school tenants and their students are quite literally the ‘next generation,’ said Michael Johander, President, North Loop Campus LLC. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to not only harvest all of the environmental benefits of solar energy, but to do so in the laboratory-like setting provided by our schools.”

“All Energy Solar was able to pipe real-time monitoring of our solar electricity output to TV screens in the building so that students can see how much electricity is being produced, the amount of carbon dioxide emissions our system is saving, and the equivalent number of trees that would need to be planted to process those emissions,” said Johander. “We hope that by weaving this information into students’ daily lives, we can help build an awareness of the importance of renewable energy and maybe even inspire some revolutionary thinking. After all, you never know when the next Albert Einstein will be walking through the halls of our building!”

Project Specifications

  • System Size: 303 kW
  • Panels: 856
  • Panel Type: Hyundai 350W
  • Inverter Type: SolarEdge
  • kWh Generated Annually: approximately 350,000 kWh
  • CO2 Avoided Annually: >240 Metric Tons


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