District Energy St. Paul
District Energy St. Paul will host a demonstration project in cooperation with Caterpillar, Inc. and the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as well as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The three year project is in the early planning stage of design, which will allow for collaboration with additional partners and compliance with permitting. The installation and initiation of data collection are expected to occur in late 2023.
The project involves siting a packaged combined heat and power (CHP) unit supplied by CAT that is capable of producing 2 MWe and providing waste heat in the form of useable thermal energy to greatly improve the efficiency of the process. The CHP unit will be fueled by various combinations of hydrogen and natural gas with a goal of proving the use of hydrogen as a viable fuel source in such applications.
“Hydrogen will play an important role in the efforts to decarbonize the broader energy system. Pilot projects such as this provide a great opportunity to test, learn, and demonstrate its potential as a low-carbon fuel in applications like district energy,” said Ken Smith, President and CEO. “District Energy St. Paul is committed to achieving its carbon reduction goals while continuing to deliver reliable and cost-effective service to its customers. We know that our path forward will include a range of solutions including hydrogen and electrification.”
District Energy has a goal to be 100% carbon neutral by 2050 along with a goal of 7% carbon reduction each year. Currently, the company provides up to 50% renewable heating through biomass-fired combined heat and power and carbon-neutral cooling to all cooling customers. District Energy is also working with Xcel Energy on an electrification project to further decarbonize its heating services.