Heating water eats up a lot of energy. In Minnesota, the colder climate puts even more demand on hot water systems. However, the state's potential for solar energy can help offset that negative. Recently, Ramsey County's Law Enforcement Center installed a solar-thermal heating system. It's unique constant demand for heated water and expansive rooftop made it a great location to give this emerging technology a try.
With the help of federal funding, a 35 solar-thermal panel array, manufactured by Alexandria-based Solarskies, uses the sun's energy to heat domestic water to 130 degrees. It's expected to save taxpayer dollars and reduce 15 metric tons of carbon producted each year.