District Energy St. Paul

Award category


Year released


District Energy St. Paul received the Inspiring Efficiency Innovation Award for their innovative combined heat and power (CHP) plant. This project is notable for its use of urban wood waste to generate electricity and district heating and cooling, replacing up to 80 percent of District Energy's use of coal and oil with a renewable fuel that was previously a waste disposal problem. By meeting the heating needs of its downtown customer base with this CHP technology, District Energy gets twice the useful energy from the same amount of fuel while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2), sulpher dioxide (SO2) and particulate emissions by more than 60 percent. One of the largest wood-fired CHP projects in the nation, the District Energy plant supplies electricity to Xcel Energy to partially fulfill a state mandate for biomass energy. Minnesota's State Capitol Complex is the first government facility of its kind to heat and cool with green power.