True or false: Duluth’s local government is anti-environment. The answer is “E”, none of the above. Actually, our local Lake Superior port government makes some pretty Green decisions every now and then. You may remember, not too long ago, Duluth became the first city in North America to ban the sale of mercury thermometers. Well, there’s great news this summer, too. Thanks in part to local eco-superheroes like Carin Skoog, Coordinator of Cities for Climate Protection, a while back, the Duluth City Council signed a resolution to become one of a handful of cities in the world to be a part of a campaign to reduce greenhouse gases on a local level. This action will benefit the Great Lakes, a region that computer models show will be greatly affected by global climate change.
As part of its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the City of Duluth has purchased two electric vehicles, a solar powered recharging station and has installed 8 – 300 watt photovoltaic (PV) modules on the roof of the Duluth Public Library. The 2. 4 kW solar paneling system will save the library over $1,000/year in energy costs as it quietly produces clean, renewable energy. St. Louis County has also recently installed an 855 watt PV system on the County garage. Both systems were designed and installed by locally owned and operated Conservation Technologies.
According to Skoog, the ringmaster of this earth-friendly energy bonanza, “Putting this system on one of the area’s most heavily-utilized educational facilities with over 250,000 annual visitors is a great way for the City to educate and motivate the community to conserve energy resources. ” Following the PV installation, an ‘energy and environmental resource display’ will be built in the Library. The kiosk’s computer will show real-time data about how much energy the panels are producing, how much greenhouse gas emissions are being saved, and compare those statistics with other energy sources, such as coal, oil, natural gas, wood, wind, and hydro.