Linden Hills Co-Op raising money to outfit roof with solar panels

The Linden Hills neighborhood skyline might see a new addition as soon as springtime.

After a couple years of fundraising, the Linden Hills Co-Op is almost ready to attach a 10,000-kilowatt-per-hour solar panel system to the roof of its store at 2813 W. 43rd St.

Fifty-four solar panels will provide enough power to meet about two-thirds of the store’s electricity needs on sunny summer afternoons, but that isn’t the co-op’s main motivation.

“It’s to talk about clean, renewable energy options,” said Paula Gilbertson, the co-op’s general manager. “We have 800 people coming into our store every day, and we can help educate people about how to make the planet a better place.”

The store’s building is a good fit for solar because of its flat roof and mostly unobstructed exposure to the sun, she said. The solar panels, which will cover about a quarter of the roof, will easily be seen below, too.

“It’s going to be highly visible,” Gilbertson said. “We feel like we have a really good site to be a demonstration site.”

Information displays will be situated inside and outside the store for curious customers and others in the neighborhood.

The co-op was within a few thousand dollars of meeting its $62,000 fundraising goal by its Oct. 17 annual board of directors meeting.

Contributions have come ranged from dollar bills stuffed into cash register displays to large-sum gifts from nearby businesses and organizations.

The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council pledged $4,000 in grant and matching funds toward the solar project at its October board meeting.

“This is a pretty active, politically aware neighborhood, and that certainly helps,” Gilbertson said.

 

Dan Haugen can be reached at [email protected] and 436-5088.