by Steve Solbrack with Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub

The Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub (EcoClub) in District 5950, Minnesota, USA collaborated with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) to purchase and install solar panels for two new Habitat homes. Funding for the project included contributions from 15 other Rotary clubs and district grant funds from Rotary District 5950. The total project cost was $52,500. Rotary contributions are providing $21,500 and Habitat will receive a federal tax rebate and City of Minneapolis Green Cost Share grant to pay for most of the remaining balance. 

Blue house and garage with solar panels on the roof

Fremont Ave solar panels on the garage and house

The collaboration with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity to make solar energy available to new Habitat homeowners will reduce monthly expenses for low-income families, reduce air pollution, and decrease carbon emissions. Installing an 8 kW solar array on one home will save more than 150 metric tons of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to over 3,500 trees planted and grown for 25 years or over 350,000 miles not driven. Now double that: this project will have a huge impact for good.

The solar panels were installed the end of February and the final interconnection and activation with Xcel Energy occurred the last week in March. In early October eighteen Rotarians from six Rotary clubs volunteered for a two-day Habitat home build at one of the two new Habitat homes with half the group participating each of the two days.

The installed solar panels have been logged into the Million Solar Panel Challenge –

L to R:

Andy Goke, Apadana Solar Technologies

Steve Solbrack, EcoClub

Tim Conners, Eden Prairie AM

Mike Robertson, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity

Mike Menzel, EcoClub

Kathy Iverson, EcoClub


Photo taken by Liz Andress, EcoClub