MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN — Adam St. Pierre could never have predicted that his entrepreneurial passion would lead him to pioneer cleaner, healthier yard care in the Metro 18 years later when he inherited a lawn care company from a high school classmate.
Diamond Cut Lawn Care, founded in 2003, provides full-service lawn care in Edina, Richfield, and south Minneapolis, including cutting, trimming, and edging, as well as organic fertilizer and weed control programs.
In 2019, the company made history in the Twin Cities by switching to electric blowers, edgers, trimmers, and push mowers in place of gas-powered counterparts. Diamond Cut is now the first and only lawn service in the area to use solar energy to power its electric lawn equipment while on the go.
Fresh Energy has worked for nearly 30 years to assist Minnesota to meet its carbon reduction targets, so innovation is nothing new to them. Part of that endeavor is electrifying fossil-fuel-powered tools and appliances, a process known as “beneficial electrification” that is critical to decarbonizing our energy system.
Diamond Cut began its move to cleaner lawn care equipment in 2007 after a customer inquired about organic lawn care. Diamond Cut’s willingness to try battery-powered equipment in 2019 and, more recently, advancement to solar-powered lawn equipment in 2020 was inspired by that conversation.
The majority of lawn equipment in use in the United States today is fossil fuel-powered. Even though the machines utilize a modest amount of gas, their tremendous climate and environmental consequences significantly outweigh any benefits, especially considering that over 54 million Americans mow their lawns every weekend.
Traditional yard care equipment also releases dangerous pollutants such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides because it runs on fossil fuel. These pollutants negatively influence the environment and drastically diminish the quality of the air we breathe, disproportionately affecting children, the elderly, Black and Indigenous Minnesotans and other people of color.
The company only had a few pieces of electric equipment in 2018. As Diamond Cut began to use battery-powered equipment more frequently in 2019, Adam says they began bringing spare batteries on the road and storing them loose in the rear of the truck. The challenging part was that, once the batteries ran out, that was it for the day.
And here is the remarkable solution. While parked at a customer’s property, Diamond Cut’s maintenance trailer is equipped with a large 640W solar array that powers the electric yard equipment. Equipment batteries may be recharged at night if necessary using energy from a 10.54 kW rooftop array at the company’s headquarters.
Leading the shift from oil and gas to clean, renewable electricity to power our homes, automobiles and buses is an integral part of Fresh Energy’s work.
Switching to electric tools, family automobiles, and public transit will quadruple Minnesota’s carbon reductions while also enhancing the quality of life in communities where air pollution is a problem.
This implies a cleaner, brighter future for all Minnesotans, and it all starts with something as fundamental and practical as electric lawn care.
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