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Networked geothermal is catching on in Minnesota. New legislation aims to push the technology further

By District Energy posted 04-08-2024 12:30


Energy News Network


Minnesota is home to a growing number of networked geothermal systems — essentially massive ground-source heat pumps providing low-emissions heating and cooling to a group of buildings. 

Now, state legislators have introduced bills that aim to support further adoption of the technology, which advocates say is a key tool for cutting emissions in the building sector, especially in cold-weather states.

The legislation builds on what’s already happening in the state. Thermal energy networks have been installed in Rochester’s city hall and will be extended to a library and civic center to create a system serving more than one million square feet. Carleton College built a networked geothermal system and The Heights, a development on St. Paul’s East Side where more than 1,000 people will live and another 1,000 will work, will be heated and cooled by a networked thermal system.

“There’s a lot of excitement building around networked geothermal,” said Luke Gaalswyk, president and CEO of St. Paul-based Ever-Green Energy, a utility system operator and advisor with an expertise in district energy.

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