From Minnesota Wild games to the Land O’ Lakes Kennel Club Dog Show and the Star of the North Dental Convention, the campus of Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul RiverCentre, and Roy Wilkins Auditorium offers something of interest for everybody. Many facilities can lay claim to exciting events, but one of the things that sets this Saint Paul destination apart is its ambitious sustainability program.
Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center’s environmental goals are aligned with the operating philosophy of District Energy. Jim Ibister, General Manager of Saint Paul RiverCentre and Vice President of Facility Administration for the Minnesota Wild, encourages developers and building managers to think creatively about their relationships with service providers. He shared, “Our relationship with District Energy started out simply as a client and provider relationship. As time progressed, and we learned that both organizations were committed to sustainability, we became partners on many projects that served our communities and the environment.”
District Energy provides the complex with heating, cooling, and domestic hot water. In addition to District Energy’s environmental advantages, being connected means the facility’s staff does not have to manage the assets, work, and worry of energy production. The reliability of District Energy helps to assure everyone that when there is an arena full of cheering Wild fans, the building will have the heating and cooling required. In addition to heating and cooling, District Energy provides low-grade heat for a snow melt system to some of the sidewalks around the complex. Snow melt reduces the amount of salt and labor needed for snow removal, which helps to run an efficient operation while reducing the amount of chemicals dispersed on the sidewalks.
When these facilities began working on their sustainability goals, they were searching for ways to diversify their energy efficiency portfolio to help reduce their carbon footprint. This led to the opportunity to partner with District Energy to build the nation’s largest solar thermal energy system. The organizations also partnered to develop the Saint Paul EcoDistrict sustainability education experience, and they collaborate on speaking engagements and events to share their environmental achievements. Jim adds, “Today, our working relationship has extended far beyond the traditional customer relationship where it started.”
At District Energy, we are proud to support the great entertainment, operations, and environmental mission of Saint Paul RiverCentre and Xcel Energy Center.