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August 2016

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Governor Dayton prioritizes funding for Duluth Energy Systems

On January 14, Governor Dayton announced his list of priority projects for the 2016 bonding cycle, which included the  proposed $21 million bonding request to modernize the Duluth Energy Systems distribution system, making it more efficient and cost-effective. 

City of Duluth Press Release

Read more about the benefits of this important project.

Media Coverage

“Gov. Dayton’s Bonding Bill Invests Millions into Duluth”
Fox 21, January 15, 2016

“Dayton bonding plan has $21 million for Duluth heating system, $27.2 million for UMD science building”
Duluth News Tribune, January 15, 2016

“Dayton’s Proposal to Fund Duluth Projects”
ABC 10/13 WDIO, January 15, 2016

“UMD Building Among $120M for Northland in Dayton Proposal”
ABC 10/13 WDIO, January 15, 2016

“Governor Dayton’s jobs bill includes funding for Northland projects”
NNCNow, January 15, 2016

“Governor’s Jobs Bill Would Create Over 39,000 Minnesota Jobs”
State of Minnesota, January 15, 2016

Duluth’s Energy Transformation

PDF version to print and share

Duluth is advancing a grand vision for its energy system that would place it among the country’s most forward-looking cities. Duluth has made its energy future a priority and has seized opportunities to work within the community, with its utilities, and in collaboration with experts from around the country to integrate state-of-the-art technology and international best practices for an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally advanced system.

The Time is Now


  • Now is the time to modernize this 83 year-old steam system, while Superior Street and local utilities are being renovated starting in 2017.
  • Investing in state-of-the-art energy infrastructure is the key to bringing renewables, efficiency, financial savings and stability, and a flexible energy system that will serve the community for years to come.
  • This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Key Elements of the Grand Energy Vision for Duluth


  • Critical upgrades to the City’s existing district heating and cooling systems – switching from steam to more efficient hot water and creating additional opportunities for proven technologies such as waste heat recovery and combined heat and power.
  • Helping Duluth building owners meet high standards for energy efficiency.
  • Integration of renewable energy that supports the local forest industry.

How does this get done?

  • Several elements of the grand plan are already in place. These elements help establish the infrastructure upon which this energy transformation will be built. The 2017 Superior Street reconstruction is an incredible opportunity to install hot water infrastructure.
  • Leadership and commitment from local and state government officials
  • Partnerships at the local and state level.
  • Leverage existing grants from the MN Department of Agriculture NextGen program and grants from the Northland and the McKnight Foundations.
  • Work closely with local utilities.

What is needed to advance this energy transformation?


$25 million up-front investment, matched with local resources, to install the infrastructure opportunistically in conjunction with the Superior Street reconstruction. Additional investments in the short-term would help increase system efficiency and reduce fossil fuel usage, which is important to reaching the energy vision for Duluth. After this up-front investment, the system becomes self-sustaining as was the case with the successful system in Saint Paul. Initial capital infusion is critical to getting the process started.

Broad Community Appeal

Led by the City of Duluth and Ever-Green Energy, this project has engaged experts and supporters from within and beyond Duluth, including state commissioners, city councilors, and executives from the business, energy, environmental communities who believe in Duluth’s grand energy vision.

Together with the City of Duluth, state, and local leadership, we can make Duluth’s transformative vision for its energy future a reality.

Duluth’s district energy system gets a new name

On May 19, 2015, we shared updates on our system plans and unveiled a new name, Duluth Energy Systems. More event photos

“Local Landmark Works to Make Changes for Future”
FOX 21, May 26, 2015

“Almanac North”
WDSE PBS, May 22, 2015 (coverage at 11:21 – 18:25)

“New name, new sustainability outlook for Duluth Energy Systems”
International District Energy Association, May 20, 2015

“Steam Plant Becomes Duluth Energy Systems”
610 KDAL, May 19, 2015

“Officials outline Duluth Steam Plant reconfiguration”
Business North, May 19, 2015

“Steam Plant Becomes Duluth Energy Systems”
WTBX 9309 FM, May 19, 2015

“Duluth Steam renamed Duluth Energy Systems”
Howie Blog, May 19, 2015

“Duluth Steam Makes Changes, Plans for Future”
Fox 21, May 19, 2015

“New Name, New Sustainability Outlook for Duluth Steam”
ABC 10/13 WDIO, May 19, 2015

“Duluth steam plant has new name and new ideas for the future”
NNCNow, May 19, 2015

“Steam plant’s new name ushers in new era in Duluth”
Bloomberg, May 18, 2015

“Duluth Steam to Announce Big Energy Transformation”
ABC 10/13 WDIO, May 18, 2015

“New plans for Duluth’s energy future”
NNCNow. May 18, 2015

“Stem plant’s new name ushers in new ear in Duluth”
Duluth News Tribune, May 17, 2015


Duluth Energy Systems is operated and managed by Ever-Green Energy.