Tag Archives: IPS Solar

Solar Energy: A Tool For Community Empowerment

 

Clean Energy Economy Minnesota in collaboration with Solar Bear and Impact Power Solutions invite you to watch the video premiere of Red Lake Nation’s solar story!

In February of 2016, Red Lake Tribal leaders announced plans to become energy independent. Unfortunately, the band experienced economic hardship and was unable to install solar on their own.

With support from the community and solar industry leaders, a creative plan was developed to help Red Lake achieve their vision by leveraging crowdfunding. The plan was a success, and construction on phase two began last month on one of the largest solar projects in Northern Minnesota.

Join us to learn:

● How Red Lake tribal leaders are using solar energy to achieve energy independence.
● How this project is creating jobs and opportunities for Red Lake Nation.
● How solar will help this community live sustainably.
● The challenges they faced and how they overcame them.
● What’s in store for the next steps of the project and the community.

Following the premiere, join the project’s stakeholders for a Q&A session to answer questions about the project, and how you can bring clean energy to your community.

 

Register for Free!

Robert Blake

Founder & Solar Outreach @Solar Bear

Robert Blake is the owner of Solar Bear a solar installation company located in Minneapolis, MN, the Ojibwe pronunciation is Gizis-o-makwa. Robert is the Executive Director of Native Sun Community Power Development a Non- Profit located also in Minneapolis, MN. Robert is a graduate student at the University of Minnesotan Carlson Executive Master of Business Administration (CEMBA) program. Robert is a tribal citizen of the Red Lake Nation. His passion is spreading the word of renewable energy through communication, cooperation, and collaboration.

Darrell G. Seki, Sr.

Chairman @Red Lake Nation

Ralph Jacobson

Founder & Chief JEDI Officer @Impact Power Solutions

While earning his Bachelor of Science in Materials Science (Minnesota, 1989), Ralph developed a strong interest in photovoltaics. He decided to get into the business of designing and installing PV power systems, and in 1991, he founded IPS. In his 20-year service on the board of directors of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, Jacobson initiated events such as the MN Solar Boat Regatta, the MN Solar Home Tour, and public classes on solar energy. More recently, he served as the founding president of the MN Solar Energy Industries Association. He is currently engaged in pioneering the market for energy storage in Minnesota and more engagement with people of color in the local industry.

Amelia Cerling Hennes

Director of Communications & Public Affairs @Clean Energy Economy Minnesota

Amelia is responsible for developing and implementing communication strategies to broaden the impact of CEEM’s public policy and oversee the organization’s overall communications and marketing strategy. Amelia is a storyteller at heart – and uses stories to help further CEEM’s mission to support and expand clean energy jobs and economic opportunities provided by clean, reliable and affordable energy on behalf of all Minnesotans. Amelia holds degrees in broadcast journalism and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She has more than a decade of experience in her field, including serving in the communications department at the Minnesota Senate, and serving as Weekend Anchor for the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Meet Saint Paul’s Largest Commercial Solar Array

On August 4, 2020, in partnership with Impact Power Solutions, Vomela unveiled its new solar-powered corporate headquarters in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Who Does the Commercial Solar Array Belong to?

Vomela is known for transforming ideas into memorable brand experiences through print media, offering a full spectrum of services to companies ranging from major retailers to local businesses since 1947. The industry leader moved to their new 300,000 square foot headquarters in the East Side of St. Paul in 2019, and regularly contributes to sustainability and making an impact

What Impact Will the Commercial Solar Array make on the Environment?

The 3,408 panels will produce roughly 1,600,000 kWh per year, enough to power 131 average Minnesota homes. Over 30 years the solar panel system will offset nearly 36,000 tons of CO2, the equivalent of adding over 44,000 acres of trees to our forests.

  • 3,408 Panels
  • 1.3 Megawatt System Size
  • 2,400,000 Lbs of Co2 Offset Per Year
  • 1,483 Acres of Forest Preserved Per Year
  • 1,606,500 Killawatt Hours Generated Per Year

 

“It’s good news for our environment, it’s good news for our children, it’s good news for our lungs, and it’s good news for our future.” –Melvin Carter, Mayor of Saint Paul

Why Did Vomela Choose Solar Energy?

Making the decision to move forward with a commercial solar array isn’t always an easy one, but for Vomela, the decision just made sense.

“Where many companies used to ask “Why solar?”, the answer has become “Why not?”

The decision to make the switch to solar allowed Vomela to take another step toward sustainability, save thousands in their overhead costs, and allowed everyone to feel involved in making an impact on climate change. 

Congratulations, The Vomela Companies!

“Vomela has also been a great partner, and very smart about energy. They understand that solar makes them more competitive. Working with visionary teams like Vomela typically leads to successful outcomes.” – Eric Pasi

From the project’s inception to completion, it’s been an absolute pleasure to work with our partners at Vomela. We’re always happy to be a resource to help companies realize the potential of commercial solar for their business, and to build a better future by providing access to renewable energy.

If you’re ready to make an impact on the environment and your overhead costs, visit our projects page to learn more and get a quote today to get started.

Celebrate Earth Day at Amsterdam Bar!

Earth Day Solar Happy Hour

Join us at Amsterdam Hall & Bar to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!

It’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and we’re celebrating!

After an advocacy-filled day at the State Capitol, we’re making the short trip over to Amsterdam Hall and Bar to celebrate 50 years of solar progress.

Details

– This is a free event
– All ages are welcome!
– Appetizers will be provided


For more info on other Earth Day activities: https://mnearthday.org/

Amsterdam Hall is a quick Green Line trip from the Capitol. IPS will provide light rail passes for all attendees.

 

Register for Free!

 

Map to Earthday Solar Happy Hour

Mounds View Solar Educator Workshop Recap

On Saturday, February 8th, we hosted our first Solar Educator Workshop of 2020 at Mounds View High School. We had a wonderful time helping over 20 teachers develop new solar curriculum to bring to their classrooms and STEM programs!

Our Education Director, Michael Cartwright (a physics teacher for over 20 years) leads the workshops with IPS as a part of our Sunrise Program

Our Sunrise Program provides FREE Training – presenting some data visualization tools, as well as offering insight about how to adapt solar lessons for your classroom.

Sunrise event attendees receive three hours worth of continuing education credits and Solar Activities Kits to use in their classrooms.

Interested in attending a future educators workshop? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed!

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Quarter of Giving Recap

Here at IPS, we set a goal for our employees and company each quarter. For Q4 of this year we decided to set our focus on giving back our community. This led us to partnering with organizations impacting local individuals, families, youth, and the renewable energy industry.

In order to impact families most in need in our community, we partnered with Ronald McDonald House Upper Midwest to host two Cook for Kids events at their Oak Street location. We prepared a chicken dinner and quiche-filled brunch during the holiday season. Turns out, we have some seriously talented chefs in the IPS crew! Most importantly, we were able to feed over 150 families staying at Ronald McDonald House!

More About Ronald McDonald House Charities

We keep families together when it matters most.  We offer a warm, welcoming “home-away-from-home” and services that range from schooling to meals to family-friendly activities.

In the IPS offices, we hosted two gift drives – a winter coat drive & a non-perishable food drive

Our goal for our winter coat drive was to collect at least 30 coats for Hope4Youth, a local organization that provides resources for homeless and at-risk youth. Not only did we meet our goal, we CRUSHED it! We were able to collect over 50 coats ensuring youth stay warm in this cold Minnesota winter weather. 

More About Hope4Youth

HOPE 4 Youth is 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Minnesota that provides pathways to end youth homelessness in our community. On any given night, there are more than 6,000 homeless young people in the State of Minnesota staying on the streets, many of them right here in our community. We work hard to change the life trajectories of the youth experiencing homelessness who need us.

Whether they need basic necessities – food from the food pantry, clothes from the clothing closet, a hot shower, a hot, nutritious meal, or personal hygiene items – or help finding housing, securing employment, finishing their education, or accessing health care, we help them find a path that allows them to move forward with their lives – no longer experiencing homelessness.

Our non-perishable food drive benefited Keystone Community Services on Rice Street. Our goal was to collect over 50 canned goods, and once again the IPS staff stepped up and CRUSHED our goal! We collected over 75 non-perishable goods!

More About Keystone Community Services

We provide vital, community-based services aimed at strengthening our community, with a commitment to serving people with the greatest needs. Our services are designed with community input to meet the aspirations and respond to the changing needs of those we serve, including young people and families, seniors, and those needing food services or crisis support. We deliver high-quality, evidence-based services in neighborhood gathering places that make our community stronger.

Lastly, we continue to be an extremely proud to be a part of the Minnesota Clean Energy Economy. Partnering with organizations like Climate Generation, allows us to support some of the most valuable resources in the clean energy industry. This quarter, we sponsored Climate Generation’s Band Together concert! It was an amazing night to see talented musicians stand up for climate protection.

 

IPS to Host Solar Educator’s Workshop

 

Join IPS Solar and our Education Director, Michael Cartwright (a physics teacher for over 20 years) as we demonstrate the available curricula IPS Solar can provide your school. This workshop is a great way to enhance your professional development and add to your continuing education requirements.

This is a FREE Training provided by IPS Solar. IPS will be presenting some data visualization tools, as well as offering insight about how to adapt solar lessons for your classroom.

All participants will be eligible for three hours of continuing education credits and will receive Solar Activities Kits to use in their classrooms.

Afterwards, IPS will be hosting a complimentary lunch down the street at The Exchange Food & Drink. All attendes are welcome to join!

Participants at this workshop will:

– Explore solar energy curriculum for 4th & 5th graders, middle schoolers, and high schoolers
– Interact with real-time solar production data from local schools
– Collect photovoltaic statistics for series and parallel circuits
– Analyze circuit effects on potential difference and current
– Experiment with photovoltaic production for a variety of light sources
– Explore the relationship between distance from source and production

Register for Free!

Solar Power World Gala – Photo Gallery

Check out some pictures from the 2019 Solar Power World Gala!

We were extremely honored to be awarded with the Greenest Contractor Award along with our industry rankings of #51 U.S. Solar Contractor, #12 U.S. Commercial Solar Developer, and the #1 Solar Developer in the Midwest!

The Greenest Contractor Award takes note of our commercial and community work were we promote pollinator-friendly solar gardens and help businesses meet their sustainability goals. However, it also recognizes how our company operates on a day-to-day basis to have a positive impact on the environment.

 

At its office, IPS Solar installed electric vehicle charging stations, available to customers and employees. Every lightbulb has been replaced with low-voltage LED lights. The office lobby façade is constructed entirely of local reclaimed wood. Every employee has a recycling bin at their desk, and single-use silverware and dishware is absent from the kitchen. In the field, IPS Solar couples solar gardens with pollinator-friendly plants and apiaries. And in the community, the company sponsors local environmental and renewable energy nonprofits and events, including Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light’s Climate Justice Night at the Museum. – Billy Ludt, assistant editor of Solar Power World

 

The IPS Solar team with SPW representatives

Jamie Borell (CEO) accepting SPW award

Pictured L to R: Jamie Borell (CEO), Laura Cina (Project Manager), Eric Hanson (Project Management Director), Ralph Jacobson (CIO), Kyle Wehnes (Marketing Director), and Eric Pasi (CDO)

Upcoming Commercial Solar Power Hour at Topgolf Minneapolis

 

We’re hosting our next Commercial Solar Power Hour at Topgolf! Join us for golf, food, drinks, and an expert-led solar discussion.

Join us at Topgolf in Brooklyn Center for some golfing, tasty food & drinks, and expert-led discussions on 2020 solar trends and the impact they will have on the commercial real estate and commercial roofing industries.

Discussion topics will include:

• Recent changes to Minnesota’s PACE financing program.

• How federally designated Opportunity Zones can unlock new resources to support solar investment.

• How rooftop community solar leases can generate upwards of $250,000 in revenue for property owners.

• How to evaluate a commercial building’s solar potential when looking to buy.

Your ticket provides you entrance to the event, access to golfing bays from 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., and complimentary food & beverages.

 
Get Tickets!

 

About the Venue

Welcome to Topgolf – the premier entertainment destination in Brooklyn Center. No matter the occasion or who you share it with, we believe that every great time starts with play, is fueled by food and drinks, moved by music and all made possible through community.

Here at Topgolf, we’ve made socializing a sport through a blend of technology and entertainment – and that’s just the game! If you journey through our venue on any given day, you’ll find a place buzzing with energy. Every Topgolf features dozens of climate-controlled hitting bays for year-round comfort with HDTVs in every bay and throughout our sports bar & restaurant.

When it comes to our eats, we know that amazing food and beverage is at the heart of any great social gathering. We take it pretty seriously. That’s why at our Topgolf Minneapolis restaurant, you will find an accomplished Executive Chef and experienced team, using high-quality ingredients to deliver a fresh twist on familiar favorites. The way we see it, we’re not just a place to play, we’re one of the best places to eat in the Brooklyn Center, MN area.

IPS Solar Announces Private Equity Investment & Changes to Key Executive Roles

Nationally recognized IPS Solar, ranked Minnesota’s top solar provider, takes on private equity investment

Poised for even more growth with new capital from SmartPitch
Ventures, IPS also announces changes to key executive roles

 

Minnesota-based IPS Solar, one of the fastest growing companies in the United States and one of the nation’s most enduring solar providers, is positioned to take on an even more prominent role in the national solar industry. IPS has formed a partnership with private equity firm SmartPitch Ventures (SmartPitch), taking on a significant capital investment through the newly formed entity called IPS Development LLC.

“This investment will enable IPS to take on an even more prominent role nationally,” confirmed Chief Development Officer Eric Pasi. “An expansion in renewable energy means more job creation locally and regionally, as well as nationally. It is also critical to addressing certain aspects of climate change.”

IPS is growing at mega-watt speed, having earned Solar Power World Magazine’s Top 500 Solar Contractor award for the last seven straight years, ranking 51 out of 415 solar companies on the magazine’s 2019 Top Solar Contractors list. IPS also received the magazine’s award for greenest contractor. The company’s board-certified project management team has installed and managed more than 1,500 projects in the upper Midwest.

Continued Pasi, “This investment, along with financial backing, will enable IPS to scale our project development efforts more quickly and efficiently. Also, the SmartPitch principals are former utility executives which will help us navigate the often tricky relationship between solar development and grid operations.”

SmartPitch is a leading later stage venture capital and private equity business focusing on disruptive technologies with a particular focus on energy. SmartPitch was founded by Gautam Chandra and Sanjiv Mahan, who have invested in and built national platforms in renewable energy, distributed generation, and competitive energy and technology businesses.

Headquartered in Fairfax, VA, SmartPitch partners with innovative founders and management teams to scale businesses entering their growth phase.

New executive roles announced

As part of this new structure, Jamie Borell moves from COO to the CEO position. Ralph Jacobson transitions from CEO to Chief Innovation Officer.

“I’m extremely excited to join forces with SmartPitch,” says Borell. “This move will enable IPS to expand our market opportunities and continue to be a top solar developer in the country.”

Agrees Jacobson, “I couldn’t have orchestrated a better transition. Jamie will assume CEO responsibilities and I will continue in an entrepreneurial role, scouting new opportunities for solar plus storage in the national market.”

Commenting on this new partnership, SmartPitch Founders Gautam Chandra and Sanjiv Mahan noted, “We are very excited about our investment in IPS Development. We look forward to working with the IPS team and growing the company into a national solar platform as part of our overall vision for growth in sustainable energy offerings.” SmartPitch will own a majority of this new partnership.

Impact Power Solutions, LLC (D.B.A. IPS Solar), a leading provider of solar power solutions, is focused on the development, installation and management of solar power systems for commercial, community solar and residential customers. IPS Solar delivers everything from five kilowatt residential arrays to multi-megawatt community solar gardens.

For additional information about IPS’s leadership in the solar power industry, visit http://ips-solar.com/.

Media Note: For additional information or to schedule an interview, contact Media Relations Agency at 952-697-5220.

Biography: Jamie Borell

Jamie Borell, is the incoming Chief Executive Officer at IPS Solar. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A in Political Science and a Masters of Public Policy from Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Before arriving at IPS, Jamie spent time as a project researcher for the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development.

While there, he researched and co-authored a report to the Minnesota Legislature on developing the hydrogen and renewable energy industries in Minnesota. In the 14 years he has spent at IPS, Jamie has participated in many different areas of the business including business development and the past 3 years as the Chief Operating Officer.

Biography: Eric Pasi

In 2007, Eric Pasi joined IPS Solar, a company with 15 years of renewable energy experience at that time. Since then, he’s helped to accelerate significant solar power development in Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Pasi has developed unique financing programs, won competitive opportunities, and jump started the company’s successful Community Solar Gardens program.

Since 2016, Pasi has helped the company grow annual gross revenues by ten fold. Recent notable projects include the Green Line Solar Corridor, 12 installations for Mounds View School District, and the Eichten’s Community Solar Garden in Chisago County.

Biography: Ralph Jacobson

Ralph is a NABCEP certified installer for both solar electric and solar thermal systems; one of only a few installers in Minnesota and Wisconsin who can make that claim. As former President of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) Ralph worked with legislators, regulators, and utilities to craft state renewable energy policy.

Ralph went through a 1 -year solar training program in 1979, found that only partly prepared him for a career in solar energy, and went back to college and earned a BS in Materials Science and Engineering at the U of MN. There he got really excited about photovoltaics. For the past 25 years, he has been creating opportunities in solar for himself and others, by growing a business and serving on the boards of the MN Renewable Energy Society and the MN Solar Energy Industry Association. In 2014 Ralph was honored with a lifetime achievement award by MnSEIA for his long term commitment to renewable energy and the solar industry in Minnesota.

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IPS Solar Ribbon Cutting & Open House

 

After years of attending our clients’ ribbon cuttings, we have decided to host our own! As you may know, every year we like to open up our office doors and let the party commence with an open house event for all our friends, family, clients, and community members. This year, our IPS Solar Open House, will also serve as a ribbon cutting celebration for our new 20kW rooftop array. Join us at our Roseville offices on Thursday, Sept. 12 from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. for a fun night of festivities.

The evening will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours of the array, indoor and outdoor activities (including cornhole, foosball, and a dunk tank competition), and of course, some tasty eats from local favorite Afro Deli that you can wash down with brews from IPS clients: Insight Brewing, ABLE Brewery & Seedhouse and Utepils Brewing!

We hope to see you there! I mean – you don’t miss this opportunity to possibly dunk your favorite IPS employee.

RSVP Here!