In April 2021, Duluth Energy Systems – which is operated and managed by Ever-Green Energy – was awarded Environmental Initiative’s Energy and Climate Award. This award is an annual recognition program that celebrates people and organizations making noteworthy environmental protection efforts.
Ever-Green is working closely with the City of Duluth to help them work toward their goal of decarbonization. A 2013 master planning effort led by Ever-Green identified significant room for improvement of infrastructure that would increase system efficiency and reliability while simultaneously decreasing carbon emissions and water use. The renovation of Superior Street provided the opportunity to replace sixteen blocks of distribution pipes and convert the energy system from steam to hot water. Steam to hot water conversion will continue throughout the next several years and by 2024 more than 50% of the system will have been converted from steam.
Another major initiative has been the transition to natural gas that has significantly reduced the amount of coal used for heating. Since 2014, coal usage at Duluth Energy Systems has been reduced by approximately 96%. The coal reduction and efficiency efforts have reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 56% in that timeframe. Additional renewable and carbon free integration is under consideration to continue to reduce carbon.