ST. PAUL, Minn. — The City of St. Paul is using wood waste to heat and cool most of its downtown buildings while also generating electricity, through a combined heat and power (CHP) plant.

Officials at St. Paul Cogeneration LLC have announced that its CHP plant is now in full operation, providing hot water to District Energy St. Paul and electricity to Xcel Energy. Cinergy Solutions Inc. built the plant, which is fueled primarily by wood waste. Projected to burn 280,000 tons of wood waste annually, officials say it will reduce reliance on coal, reduce soot emissions, and help solve a local wood waste disposal problem. It is said to be the largest wood-fired CHP plant supplying a district heating and cooling system in the United States.

District Energy St. Paul provides heating and cooling services to the majority of buildings in the downtown St. Paul area. The thermal energy from the new plant will supply approximately 80 percent of the annual energy needs for the district heating and cooling system. Xcel Energy will purchase 25 MW of electricity produced at the plant, enough to supply approximately 20,000 homes.

Publication date: 06/02/2003