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DMC Sustainability Series discusses net zero energy buildings

Net zero energy buildings are able to generate the same amount of energy they consume.

Posted: Jan 10, 2018 10:26 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Those with Destination Medical Center are hosting a sustainability series to discuss ways the city can be more energy efficient.

Net zero energy buildings are able to generate the same amount of energy they consume. That's why people came together to discuss whether or not they could be a part of the community.

A study was done in Minneapolis to see if a building like that could work in the city. Results showed it could, which made people wonder if it could also work in Rochester.

People in attendance at the sustainability series said they'd like to see more energy efficient buildings in the city, and that it's only just a matter of time.

Micah Johnson works at Solar Connection, and said the reason we don't already have them is not technical but political.

"Technically we can do all this stuff, we have the technology to do this," Johnson said. "We could run our entire grid with 100-percent renewables. We have that technology to do it. The challenges are political."

Councilman Michael Wojcik represents Ward 2. He said while they could work in the Med City, there are some financial drawbacks to consider.

"We can build net zero buildings today, but the rents we would have to charge to make them viable might be too high," Wojcik said. "But there are a lot of important steps that we can do in the short run that truly make this a positive step forward."

Wojcik said one way DMC could become more energy efficient is by tying incentives to developers meeting certain energy standards.

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