Nation’s largest PACE project nears completion in Minnesota

In downtown St. Paul the historic First National Bank Building and two neighboring properties have been collectively retrofitted with new heating, cooling and lighting technology paid for through the largest energy efficiency financing packages likely ever assembled in the country.

The energy savings alone from the project would, according to one estimate from Xcel Energy, power 1,235 average residential homes, a population greater than many Minnesota communities.

Covering more than two million square feet, the more than $12 million project is being financed through a property assessed clean energy (PACE) program managed by the St. Paul Port Authority. Energy expenditures for the three buildings will plummet by an expected 35 to 40 percent annually.

The PACE program allows building owners to pay off energy improvements on their property assessments over a 20 year period at competitive interest rates. Dozens of states are encouraging PACE financing because it allows building owners the luxury of time to pay off new equipment, solar installation, LED lighting and other energy-related technology.

At 32 stories, the landmark First National Bank building is the third tallest in St. Paul. The other buildings involved are the 26 story U.S. Bank Center and the smaller 375 Jackson. The project will be completed in November.

Read the full article at Midwest Energy News.