Sunny weather at will soon be about more than just pleasant days on the patio.
Workers are in the midst of installing solar panels on the roof of the Hopkins landmark. When the project is completed at the end of the month, energy from the sun will help keep the coffee makers running and the speakers pumping.
A Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Solar Energy Legacy Grant helped pay for the panels. The project is intended to be both practical and educational, said Jo Clare Hartsig, resource coordinator at The Depot.
The coffee house’s popularity and location on the regional trail mean thousands of people will come upon the solar array. There will be a flat screen monitor inside to let people know how much electricity the sun is generating—with any excess energy going back onto the electrical grid. Hartsig also envisions The Depot as place where students can visit on field trips to learn about solar power.
“This is a very high visibility project for the solar legacy grant,” she said.