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Archive for the ‘Renewable Energy’ Category

AU, OPU, and RPU Announce New Solar Rebate Program

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010





Date:               September 7, 2010          

Contact:         Tony Benson, RPU





AU, OPU, and RPU Announce New Solar Rebate Program


ROCHESTER, Minn.— Austin Utilities (AU), Owatonna Public Utilities (OPU), and Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), are pleased to announce the Conserve and Save Solar rebate program available to residential and commercial customers that install either a solar electric or solar hot water system.  In offering this rebate, AU, OPU, and RPU hope to encourage the growth of solar energy in their communities, while at the same time capturing energy savings that the systems will provide for their conservation improvement programs.


The Conserve and Save Solar rebate is a onetime payment of $1 per installed watt for solar electric systems and $15 per square foot net aperture for solar hot water systems. To qualify for the solar electric rebate, participants must sign an interconnection agreement with their utility. At the installation site, participants must also have completed an energy audit and a shading analysis to show that systems will not be affected by shade. 


“Solar technologies work best in an energy efficient home or building.  Adding insulation and energy efficient lighting, appliances, heating and cooling systems, is vital before considering solar technologies,” said Roger Warehime, Owatonna Public Utilities.   “For this reason, customers must conduct an energy audit on the solar installation site in order to qualify for the rebate.”


The program will benefit both our customers and the environment,” said Larry Koshire, Rochester Public Utilities General Manager. “One 2.5 kilowatt photovoltaic system produces enough renewable energy each year to offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced from driving a car more than 5,889 miles. Also, when we buy your excess energy, we’re adding renewable energy to our grid and, therefore, reducing emissions.”


The Conserve and Save Solar rebate is available in conjunction with the 30% federal tax credit for solar technologies and is available on a first come first served basis.


AU, OPU, and RPU are municipal utilities serving their respective communities in Southeast Minnesota with electric, gas and water service (gas service is not available in Rochester).  Their nine year old marketing partnership builds brand awareness and promotes energy efficiency.  “Conserve & Save” is one way they are “Teaming Up to Save You Money.”



RPU Seeking Nominations for Environmental Awards

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Olmsted County and Rochester Public Utilities are seeking nominations for the 2009 Environmental Achievement Awards.  These awards are given to individuals, organizations, and businesses who have made a significant contribution to environmental quality in Olmsted County. 

Nominations are due on or before Friday, October 23, 2009.  To nominate someone please fill out the nomination form and send to Michelle Rysavy at: or fax to her at 507-328-6728.  The form can be found at:

New Residential PV System in Rochester

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009


Curt and Jane Shellum just put up a 2.52 kW system on their Rochester home.  Their system  was designed and installed by Curt Shellum who works for Innovative Power Systems ( and is composed of 12 x 210 W Sanyo Hit Power N panels for a total of 2.52 kw.  The inverter is a Fronius Ig 3000. 

The panels are connected into the grid and are expected to produce about 3,000 kWh a year which is 50-60% of the home’s annual electric usage.  This percentage could increase as the household completes additional energy efficiancy measures. 

For more information on their system, call Curt at 507-990-1382.  The house will also be featured on the upcoming Solar Tour on Saturday, October 3 from 10 a.m.-5:00 p.m.  To learn more and/or visit area houses featured on the tour follow this link:

Take advantage of tax incentives available now!

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Put money back into the bank by taking advantage of tax incentives available for energy efficiency and renewable energy applications through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. View the complete list of tax incentives available on our tax incentive web page.

Contact Sara Gimberline for more information or questions.

RPU Co-Sponsoring Solar Class in February

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

RPU will be co-sponsoring a community education class entitled, “Solar Systems: Options, Economics, and Rebates on Saturday, February 21, 2009 from 10AM to 12PM at the Northrop Community Center.

The class will provide an overview of different heating and electric solar systems along with their costs and expected energy savings. Find out what to look for when purchasing equipment, selecting contractors, and dealing with code issues. The MN state rebate, utility contracts, and the new 30% Federal tax credit will be explained. The instructor, from Best Power International, has over 25 years of experience in the solar industry in Minnesota and will be able to answer all of your questions.

The cost of the class is $9.00 and to sign up please go to the community education website: