Prospect Park's Towerside Could Set an Example with Greener Heating

By District Energy posted 04-16-2020 14:39


Minnesota Daily


Towerside Innovation District in Prospect Park is aiming to live up to its name as it begins to incorporate greener temperature control in its new developments. 

As Minneapolis officials look to implement more alternative energy sources, Towerside’s Malcolm Yards project, a 17-acre field of developing land in Prospect Park, will be among the first to use groundwater to heat and cool its buildings. Last month, Towerside’s board of directors unanimously voted to begin pursuing the project with utility operator Ever-Green Energy.

Malcolm Yards will implement an aquifer thermal energy system in four new buildings. This type of energy relies on a series of wells and a piping system that move heat between buildings, heating and cooling them without releasing carbon emissions. This also negates the need for boilers, furnaces or air conditioners.

Ward 2 City Council member Cam Gordon represents the Towerside community. Gordon’s office has been working to fight climate change and the effects of fossil fuel emissions at the city level for years, said Ward 2 policy aide Robin Garwood.

“We have been trying to take aggressive action to deal with climate change, to mitigate it, to reduce the carbon emissions that are coming from Minneapolis, and it has become clear recently that natural gas is now actually one of the greatest single [sources] of carbon emissions,” Garwood said. 

Nina Axelson, vice president of sustainability and outreach for Ever-Green Energy, said aquifer energy has not taken off in the United States. The technology has been around for decades, mostly implemented in Europe. But the market for systems that reduce carbon emissions is growing in the U.S. as pressures to combat climate change increase, she said.

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