St. Paul is being recognized as one of the United Nations’ 45 “Champion Cities” around the world for its commitment to sustainable energy and environmental innovation as part of conference on energy opening Monday at RiverCentre.
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is accepting the award on the city’s behalf.
Nearly 800 industry and policy experts are attending the 2016 International District Energy Association conference and trade show.
The three-day conference is drawing members from more than 20 countries to learn about emerging environmental technologies and policies.
The U.N.’s District Energy in Cities Initiative recognizes the work of district energy systems around the world. Those systems produce steam and hot or chilled water at a central plant, which is then piped underground to individual buildings. As a result, the buildings do not have to equip their own furnaces, chillers or air conditioners.
The district energy system in St. Paul runs the largest wood-fired combined heat and power plant in the country. It has set a goal of phasing out coal, which is part of its mix, by the year 2020.