Officials Address Regional Tree Waste Used as Renewable Fuel for St. Paul Cogeneration

On January 22, 2020, Ever-Green Energy hosted a briefing on behalf of its affiliates  — District Energy St. Paul, Environmental Wood Supply, and St. Paul Cogeneration — to discuss the growing impact of emerald ash borer (EAB) on tree waste management. Congresswoman Betty McCollum and Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt offered their perspectives on this issue and the complexity of solving this problem as a regional and state-wide issue, as well as reinforcing the crucial role played by Environmental Wood Supply, which currently processes nearly 250,000 tons of tree waste each year into renewable electricity.

Local Event Coverage

Pioneer Press, Jan. 23, 2020

Star Tribune, Jan. 25, 2020

Background Information on Tree Waste Management and EAB Impacts

1 in 4 of Minnesota’s counties already have been affected by EAB. Over the next decade, it is anticipated that 1 billion trees will be removed due to infestation. Environmental Wood Supply has been helping communities deal with tree waste since 2003, serving over 170 communities in the past 5 years. The tree waste generated in this region is processed into fuel for use at St. Paul Cogeneration, which produces renewable electricity and heat, the latter of which helps the City of Saint Paul avoid over 100,000 tons of carbon each year. Over the past several years, the need for outlets for tree waste has increased significantly due to EAB removals.

To continue the use of this infrastructure and renewable biomass fuel program, it is critical that additional resources be allocated to facilities like ours that are processing EAB and tree waste. 2020 is the last year for this issue to be addressed at the MN State Legislature before alternative plans will need to be made for potential decommissioning of Environmental Wood Supply and alternative fuel plans identified for District Energy St. Paul. This briefing packet contains more information on the Saint Paul operations and the impacts of increasing EAB and tree waste to manage.

Environmental Quality Board 2019 EAB Report

Minnesota Environmental Quality Board – Emerald Ash Borer Interagency Team

Recent News About St. Paul Cogeneration

Pioneer Press, Jan. 11, 2020

Briefing Event Photos

On Jan. 22, 2020 local officials and community leaders gathered for a briefing on how Environmental Wood Supply and St. Paul Cogeneration are managing regional tree waste, including trees impacted by emerald ash borer, and providing renewable heating to Saint Paul.