District Energy Cooling Plant - St. Paul, MN

District Energy St. Paul distributes hot and cold water (used for heating and cooling) to retail, commercial, industrial, and residential buildings in downtown St. Paul.  Their new chiller plant chills and stores water at night, and then delivers it to District Cooling customers during the day when air conditioning is needed.  This strategy lowers customer costs and reduces the need to build additional power plants to meet regional peak electric demands.

The current chiller plant on Kellogg Boulevard had reached peak capacity, and a new chiller plant was needed to meet growing demand. To qualify for a large utility rebate, and to meet additional summer cooling needs, the new chiller plant had to be constructed and in operation on a very tight timeline.

The Engineering Accomplishment:

District Cooling determined the necessity for a new chiller plant with a four million gallon tank, and the flexibility of adding future chillers.  Over the next seven years, two additional chillers were added with associated pumps, piping, and controls.  HEI worked with District Energy to select and pre-purchase equipment to allow for more control and to accelerate the construction process. Many design sessions were conducted during schematics and design development to produce a very sophisticated plan design for the chiller plant, tank and electrical service.

The process was very demanding to meet aggressive schedule and budgets. Because of the timing issues, several steps of the process happened simultaneously, and needed to be seamlessly blended.  HEI accomplished this by detailed project management and thoughtful, responsive communications.  The project successfully met these requirements and the deadlines.