Towerside Innovation District in Minneapolis - rendering


Sustainability and Innovation in Urban Development

Towerside has been developed through a partnership with local community leaders in the public and private sectors, with the focus on implementing a micro-grid energy system for this redevelopment area. The district is a 370-acre site that stretches between Minneapolis and Saint Paul on the eastern edge of the University of Minnesota. The area is a vibrant mix of residential, commercial, light industrial, retail, academia, technical research uses, artists, and artisans. With the recent addition of the Green Line transit corridor and three light rail stations, the area is positioned for significant redevelopment and is envisioned as a living laboratory that fosters resilient urban living.

Ever-Green’s Role

Ever-Green Energy completed an energy system feasibility study for the partnership in 2014 and has continued as a technical and implementation advisor as planning has unfolded for this area.

In 2019, aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) was identified as a key technology for the site. Ever-Green has coordinated the additional feasibility analysis completed by Underground Energy and is working with the City of Minneapolis and other Towerside partners to identify a pathway for implementation of this innovative approach for upcoming development.


  • 2014 – Completion of initial feasibility study.
  • 2019 – Completion of aquifer thermal energy storage analysis.
  • 2021 – Aquifer thermal energy storage test wells drilled.

What is Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage?

ATES is a sustainable geothermal heating and cooling technology that can yield significant, large-scale energy savings for buildings and energy districts that have large heating and cooling requirements and that overlie at least one productive aquifer. ATES is an open-loop, low-temperature geothermal technology that uses high-capacity wells for both withdrawal and injection of groundwater on a seasonal basis. ATES is well suited to application in low-temperature district energy systems, and the technology is well established in the Netherlands, where over 2,500 ATES projects have been commissioned.