District Energy St. Paul

District Energy St. Paul

Industry Leadership: Our Flagship Operations

District Energy St. Paul is a nonprofit utility providing energy services to downtown Saint Paul. The heating and cooling network serves more than 200 buildings in the central business district and across the river to a secondary area of commercial, light industrial, and residential development. The customer base includes higher education, hospitals, Fortune 500 companies, and multi-family residential as well as hotels, entertainment, and sporting venues.

Public-Private Partnership

Developed as a public-private partnership, District Energy has worked closely with the City of Saint Paul, Saint Paul Port Authority, local businesses leaders, and civic partners to offer competitive energy solutions and cost-based rates that have played a critical role in development for the city.

Heating and cooling customers pay less for energy today than they did when the system started, when adjusting for inflation.

District Energy has become a showcase for energy efficiency through continued efforts to evolve, reinvent, and integrate sustainable solutions that have earned the operations a global reputation, including recognition from the United Nations Environment Programme.

Ever-Green’s Role

District Energy is the parent company to Ever-Green Energy and has contracted the Ever-Green team to provide operations and management services for the District Energy operations.

Ever-Green has built a deep knowledge of utility and energy system management from the decades of experience with this flagship system.

Ever-Green provides comprehensive operation and management services, energy engineering, and project management, as well as business operations, finance, legal, and customer and community outreach.


  • 1983 – Steam to hot water conversion complete and heating system start-up.
  • 1993 – Cooling service start-up.
  • 2003 – Integration of combined heat and power fueled by tree waste.
  • 2011 – Installation of the United States’ largest solar hot water installation.
  • 2015 – Launch of community education platforms – Saint Paul EcoDistrict and public art program – the Plume Project.
  • 2016 – Integration of new controls systems and approach (reduced peak cooling by 30% from 2016-2018).
  • 2017 – Installation of new cooling towers. Launched pilot submetering projects.
  • 2018 – Launched system master planning effort to finalize coal sunset, examined reduction of system distribution temperatures, and incorporated additional renewables.
  • 2019 – End of coal use.
  • 2021 – REC agreement provides carbon-neutral cooling to all cooling customers.


Buildings served with district heating195
Single family homes298
Current billed demand177 megawatts
Total building area served32.2 million square feet


Six gas/oil-fired boilers194 MW
Combined heat and power plant65 MW
Regions Hospital Plant (gas/oil-fired)25 MW
Mobile boilers (temporary and/or backup)7.5 MW
Solar thermal1.2 MW
Piping MaterialsPrefabricated steel pipe with polyurethane insulation encased in polyethylene jacket
Diameter3/4-inch to 28-inch
Length40 miles
Volume919,000 gallons
Supply TemperatureSupply Temperature
Return Temperature140-160 degrees F
Supply Pressure180 psi
Reliability rate99.992%


Buildings served with district cooling102 buildings
Building Area Served19.4 million sq. ft.


Main plant, 76 West Kellogg Boulevard
Seven electric chillers15,387 tons
10th and Sibley Plant
Three electric chillers7,000 tons
Chilled water storage systems10,800 tons
Satellite chillers5,000 tons
TOTAL35,437 tons
Piping MaterialsSteel pipe wrapped in protective coating with cathodic protection
Diameter3-inch to 30-inch
Length15 miles
Volume of distribution system1,115,000 gallons
Volume of storage system6,700,000 gallons
Supply Temperature42 degrees F
Return Temperature56 degrees F
Supply Pressure150 psi
Minimum pressure differential15 psi
Reliability rate99.99%