Downtown St. Paul utility cutting off coal
Minnesota Public Radio, Climate Cast, April 10, 2019
District Energy St. Paul stops burning coal
Bring Me the News, April 2, 2019
St. Paul’s District Energy burns last of its coal, readies to phase it out
Star Tribune, April 2, 2019
St. Paul’s District Energy marks end of coal
Star Tribune, April 2, 2019
Downtown St. Paul utility District Energy goes coal-free
Pioneer Press, March 29, 2019
St. Paul’s District Energy says goodbye to coal
Minnesota Public Radio, March 29, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 29, 2019
District Energy St. Paul says goodbye to coal
SAINT PAUL, Minn. (March 29, 2019) – Employees at District Energy St. Paul are hosting a retirement party today for an unusual member of their team – coal. The local, nonprofit utility company is retiring the carbon-based fuel from its heating portfolio on March 31, two years earlier than officially planned.
Between 2000 and 2017, District Energy already reduced carbon emissions for the heating system by 57 percent, mostly through the integration of the biomass-fired combined heat and power plant and systematic reduction in coal usage. Eliminating the use of this fuel reduces the heating system’s CO2 emissions an additional 16 percent or 10,000 tons per year. This is the equivalent of removing 2,100 cars from the road each year.
“As a leading community utility, we have the responsibility of providing reliable and cost-effective services to our customer,” said Ken Smith, president and CEO of District Energy St. Paul. “We must also be looking ahead to the integration of emerging technology solutions that benefit our customers and the environment. District Energy is in the process of setting new, ambitious sustainability goals that will continue to advance the system and further reduce our CO2 emissions.”
Eliminating coal is just one component of a multi-faceted plan for District Energy to provide customers with more sustainable energy solutions – a demand that has increased in the last decade. Since 2003, District Energy heating services have been nearly 50 percent renewable, using wood waste from the region to generate renewable electricity for Xcel Energy and provide heat for the downtown district system. By comparison, most of Minnesota uses natural gas or fuel oil.
District Energy is in the planning stages for several innovative technology solutions to reduce its system’s carbon footprint. The company expects to announce its new sustainability platform and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals by July 2019.
About District Energy St. Paul
District Energy St. Paul is a leader in community energy, providing Saint Paul with reliable service, stable rates, and sustainable heating and cooling services. As a mission-driven organization, District Energy has an ongoing commitment to advance its system through innovation, serve as environmental stewards, and to be good community partners.
District Energy St. Paul currently heats 197 buildings and 300 single-family homes and cools more 116 buildings in downtown Saint Paul and adjacent areas. The customer base includes local and state government, arts, entertainment, hospitality, Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and landmark small businesses that thrive with the support of District Energy’s stable and reliable heating and cooling services.