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Posted on: November 19, 2021

Coon Rapids Designated as 'SolSmart Silver City'

RMS Company manufactures precision parts for high tech companies including the medical device industry. They run a 24/7 operation which uses enormous amounts of energy. RMS had been faced with rising energy costs, according to John Braun, the company’s finance director, so they recently made the decision to go solar.

"It just worked out great and the timing was right just with electricity and pricing and such like that," Braun said.

Since 2014, Coon Rapids has had a solar ordinance on the books. In September, the City updated the ordinance to reflect new, national standards.  The move earned the City of Coon Rapids recognition as a SolSmart Silver City.

"Coon Rapids is the first city in Anoka County to achieve a SolSmart designation," said Olivia Dorow Hovland, the City’s Sustainability Planner. She also helped craft the updated ordinance, simplifying the solar permitting process.

"SolSmart is a program run by the U.S. Department of Energy that certifies cities and communities in following best practices for solar energy systems," Dorow Hovland said.

RMS is one of nearly 50 solar installations in Coon Rapids. To help businesses and residents navigate going solar, the city has created a solar page on its website.

We want to make it as simple as possible for people to install solar if they decide that's something that they want to do," Dorow Hovland said.

The solar page can help you navigate solar energy options, find a contractor, and even help with financing and available tax credits.

Coon Rapids resident Nathan Reichmann and his family added solar to their home this past summer.

"It's something that my wife and I just value as being a little bit more green,” Reichmann said.  “Trying to do what we can for the environment and then for our particular situation we're going to come out pretty even on the cost of the power."

Meanwhile, RMS will have their solar array operational in the coming weeks, which will have the capacity to generate up to a kilowatt of generation capacity, reducing their energy costs and carbon footprint.

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