Tag Archives: IPS Solar

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.

Innovative Power Systems, Inc. (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 Innovative Power Systems. 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 to Host Solar Educator’s Workshop in St. Cloud

 

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.

Come and learn about the science and technology around solar energy. Make it easy to bring renewable energy to your classroom!

This is a FREE Training with lunch 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.

Materials are geared towards 4th – 12th grade educators. In this hands-on training, educators will be going on a solar scavenger hunt, building solar gizmos, and participating in other solar challenges. During these activities, educators will be learning about solar water pumping, power storage, and the variables that impact the efficiency of solar panels. Teachers don’t need any prior knowledge of solar energy. They will learn about how solar power works and how to implement activities in their classroom.

All teachers and educators are welcome to attend!

 

Workshop Agenda

8:45 – Registration / Coffee / Bagels

9:00 – Welcome and Introductions

9:15 – IPS Sunrise Program – overview and interactive lesson planning

10:45 – Break

11:00 – Dive into Solar Data – introduction to real-time solar monitoring and exercises

11:45 – Catered lunch and refreshments 

12:15 – Optional question + answer session

 

Register for Free!

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!

Celebrate the Solstice With IPS Solar!

 

IPS Solar is throwing a Solstice Solarbration & Community Fundraiser at Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge! Join us as we celebrate the longest day of the year and support several amazing nonprofits!

The evening will include a tasty family style buffet, Psycho Suzi’s famous tropical drinks, festive music, games, fabulous raffle prizes and an unparalleled view of the Mississippi River from Suzi’s private waterfront balcony.

Get Tickets!

Ticket Options

-Early Bird Admission (Until June 1st): $65
-General Admission (After June 1st): $80

Your Ticket Includes: 

– 1 raffle ticket (additional tickets can be purchased at the event)
– 2 drink tickets
– Family style buffet dinner
– a night full of fun and adventure!

Supporting Sponsorship: $500 

– six event tickets
– your company name/logo listed on event promotional materials
– your company name/logo included on event signage and at table
– a shout out from the event hosts during opening remarks

Presenting Sponsorship: $1,000

– nine event tickets
– your company listed as event co-host on all promotional materials and event signage
– ability to set up a small promotional table at the event
– ability to make brief remarks during the event

 

Proceeds from the event will be supporting the work of several amazing nonprofits.
MN350: MN350 unites Minnesotans as part of a global movement to end the pollution damaging our climate, speed the transition to clean energy, and create a just and healthy future for all.

With the imagination and dedication of thousands of volunteers and working in coalition with organizations statewide, MN350 is making Minnesota a leader in the transition to a just and livable clean energy economy. MN350 uses a full range of peaceful methods, including policy advocacy, bold public events, political engagement and nonviolent direct action to change the rules of government and corporate behavior.                                                   

Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy: Climate Generation was founded by polar explorer, Will Steger, based on his powerful eyewitness to climate change from over 50 years exploring the Polar Regions. We recognize the power of eyewitness accounts and personal story, acknowledging that as our world warms, we all have a climate story to tell. Our programs work to realize our vision: a world of resilient communities with equitable solutions to climate change and our mission to empower individuals and their communities to engage in solutions to climate change.

We provide educators, youth, policymakers, communities, and business leaders with the resources and opportunities to engage in solutions to climate change. Across these audiences, our programs work to build climate literacy, develop powerful climate advocates, and elevate leadership. Each year we reach 5,000 educators, 3,500 youth, and thousands of people through our public engagement.

Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light: MNIPL is an interfaith community co-creating a just and sustainable world. They work in partnership with faith communities to build transformative power and bring the lights of people’s unique gifts to addressing the climate crisis.

They do this in two ways: leadership development programs and action opportunities that provide tangible ways to make an impact. MNIPL believes that it’s not enough to offer people opportunities to take action on the issues they care about. Instead, they believe leadership development and organizing training empower individuals to build a movement capable of creating a just and livable climate for the human and more than human world.

2019 Brings Changes to Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Program

Xcel Energy’s popular Solar*Rewards incentive program has undergone a few key changes for 2019. These changes are highlighted by adjusted incentive rates, additional consumer protection provisions, and a new low-income branch of the program.  These changes come only six months after the Minnesota Legislature passed HF 3232, which raised the capacity size limit for Solar*Rewards projects from 20kW to 40kW. You can read about that change here.


Incentive Rate Changes


In 2018 both commercial and residential program participants received $.08 for every kilowatt hour of electricity they produced.  This year, the incentive rates have dropped to $.06 per kWh for commercial participants and $.07 per kWh for residential participants.  While these reduced rates will lower the financial benefit program participants receive, they will allow the total incentive budget to be split among more projects.

 


Consumer Protection Provisions


The Solar*Rewards program now requires every installer submitting a residential application to be a licensed Minnesota Residential Building Contractor.  This aims to help protect customers by ensuring that only qualified installers are using the program.  


The new MN Contractor Recovery Fund was also created with customers in mind. The fund compensates owners or lessees of residential property in Minnesota who have suffered actual and direct out-of-pocket loss due to a licensed contractor’s fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices, or failure of performance.


Income Qualified Incentives


This year Xcel Energy has added Income Qualified Incentives into the Solar*Rewards program.  These incentives are only available to customers that meet certain income guidelines and have separate rates for residential, non-profit & multi-family, and solar garden customers.

 


Unlike the traditional Solar*Rewards incentives, the Income Qualified Incentives are structured as an upfront per-watt rebate combined with a production incentive. Xcel has set aside between 10 and 20 percent of the total incentive pool specifically for these projects. With the current budget at just over $9,000,000, at least $900,000 will be set aside for Income Qualified Incentives.  

Announcing Our Next Commercial Solar Power Hour

Join us for some tasty appetizers and great beer in Surly’s Scheid Hall Room on March 13th. Happy hour begins at 4:00 pm followed by a formal discussion at 5:15 pm. Network with fellow professionals and learn how investing in solar can decrease your business’ tax liability.  We will focus on how the upcoming expiration of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) has created a sense of urgency for businesses looking to switch to solar. Tickets are $20.

Your ticket gets you:
– Entry into the event
– Free access to Surly’s collection of tap beers
– Free appetizers served throughout the evening

 

Featured Speakers

Norman Jones –  Shareholder / Attorney – Winthrop & Weinstine 

Norm has been structuring and closing tax credit transactions at Winthrop and Weinstine for over 20 years. In that time, he has closed over 700 megawatts of renewable energy tax credits. His accolades include being named Minnesota Lawyer’s Attorney of the Year in 2006, and one of Real Estate Law’s Best Lawyers in America for 2018-2019.

Eric Pasi – Chief Development Officer – IPS Solar

Since 2007 Eric’s helped to accelerate significant solar power adoption in Minnesota and the upper Midwest for IPS Solar. Pasi has developed notable projects including the Green Line Solar Corridor, more than 70 megawatts of community solar, and the company’s successful Solar & Schools program.

 

Surly Tap List
– Axe Man – IPA
– Space Race – Hazy IPA
– Liquid Stardust – Brut IPA
– Circular Reasoning – Roggenbier
– Resilience – IPA
– Furious – IPA
– DAF – Brut IPA
– Pentagram – Brett Dark Sour Ale
– Staycation – Pineapple Lactose IPA
– Weizenbock – Weizenbock

 

Event Menu
– Cheese board | selection of artisanal cheeses, honeycomb, marmalade, candied nuts, crostini & crackers
– Antipasto | sopressata, coppa, mortadella, artichokes, olives, giardiniera, crostini & crackers
– Chilled dips | pimento cheese, pico de gallo, black bean salsa, hummus
– Tater tot hot dish | smoked pork & brisket, mushrooms, corn, chilies
– Heirloom green salad | marcona almonds, radish, pickled tomato manchego, sherry vinaigrette
– Mini lobster rolls | butter toasted bun
– Cuban sliders | smoked pork, house-cured ham, mojo sauce, pickles, gruyere
– Smoked salmon crostini | house-smoked salmon, creamy shallot spread
– Deviled eggs trio | cornichon | piquillo relish & bacon | radish & pickled ..mustard seed (GF)
– Lamb gyro skewers | lamb meatball, tomato, cucumber, tzatziki sauce (GF)
– Sambal chicken skewers (GF)
– Chocolate chip cookies

 

We hope to see you there!

Illinois Communities Preparing for Solar

By Amit Shukla

Illinois’s Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) will be the premier legislation to drive renewable energy and economic development in the state of Illinois. Many communities, townships, school districts, colleges, and building owners are gearing up for this legislation.

Along with energy efficiency improvements, this legislation calls for 1.3 GW of wind and 3 GW of solar by 2030. About 1500 MW of solar needs to be built by 2021 and of this approximately 670 MW is distributed generation. The Illinois Power Agency has issued the Renewable Energy Procurement Plan.

The intent of this blog post is to summarize the new “Adjustable Block Program” program.

In a market where energy prices are cheap, the primary mechanism to incentivize these projects is via Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). One REC is equivalent to 1 MWh and it’s the “clean energy” attribute of generating renewable energy. These certificates will be set according to the “Adjustable Block Program” for community solar and behind the meter projects.

Depending on the size of the project and the utility company whose territory the project lies in, the Illinois Power Agency will grant REC values to incentivize these projects. There are separate blocks for community solar and those for distributed generation (DG), which consists of commercial, industrial, and residential.

On the community solar side, based on IPAs draft procurement plan, these REC values may range from just above $100/REC to just under $50/REC. Similarly on the DG side, these REC values may range from close to $80/REC to $30/REC, depending on size and the block.

IPA has issued the first three blocks and the REC values in these blocks will reduce over time. Hence it is important to get in early. These REC values will be paid at an accelerated level of 100% up front for residential solar and within five years for commercial and community solar projects. All incentives along with the federal investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation are expected to defray the upfront cost of doing solar.

Click here to read more!

Minneapolis Debuts World’s First Solar Farm Cider

Among the rolling hills adjacent to a nature preserve in St. Joseph Minnesota is Milk & Honey Ciders. Their latest crisp and balanced cider is “Solar Sweet Farm Cider”, a collaboration with the beekeepers at Bare Honey which tend a busy family of happy honey bees on the solar farm adjacent to the cidery.

IPS Solar and nonprofit Fresh Energy helped make the connection between the beekeepers and the cidery. IPS develops all of its solar farms to have abundant pollinator habitat. Project Manager for IPS and former ASES Board Member Laura Cina says “I think all of the old school solar installers are really just big hippies at heart, so if it costs a little extra to plant vegetation that will boost biodiversity, prevent erosion, help save the pollinators, than that’s what we’re going to do.” Fresh Energy is the nation’s leading nonprofit group highlighting the opportunity for solar farms to provide beneficial habitat for pollinators including bees and butterflies. Minnesota Native Landscapes manages the flowers and vegetation at the solar farm.

Acclaimed restaurateur and two-time James Beard award semifinalist, Kim Bartmann is excited to highlight this delicious collaboration at her restaurants in Minneapolis just in time to celebrate all the work that pollinators did earlier this year in apple orchards throughout Minnesota.

About Solar Sweet Farm Cider
“Solar Sweet Farm Cider” — Golden Russet & Kingston Black apples with honey harvested from the solar farm adjacent to the cidery. Tropical fruit notes from the Golden Russet and herbal spice from the Kingston Black, earthy & sweetness from the honey. 8% abv.

About the Community Solar Garden
The Walz Family farmed this land for decades but when the patriarch farmers of the family passed away the younger generation looked for ways to keep the land in the family. They quickly discovered that leasing the land to a solar garden was more profitable than leasing to another farmer. Additionally, the environmental benefits for the land and surrounding community was a very attractive proposition.
Environmental benefits include:
– Resting the land from farming for 25 years helps build nutrients in the soil
– Clean energy being produced
– The deep root systems of wildflowers and grasses prevent erosion
– Native plantings create food for pollinators