Is it nerdy to care about renewable energy? Since I was wearing safety goggles and a canary-yellow hardhat a few hours ago, perhaps I’m not the best judge. I don’t understand words like biomass, but I like the idea of green anything, so this morning I tagged along on a hardhat tour of a 1905 power plant that—get this—heats most of downtown St. Paul with wood chips. Fifty truckloads a day of lawn trimmings, and boom: plenty of hot water, cold water, and heat all year long.
For the bargain price of $1, a power company bought the riverfront plant in the 1980s, hoping to provide heat and electricity to the adjacent downtown via 20 miles of pipe. Standing in the rattle and hum of the cathedral-like space, our group learned that we’re not the first to tour the grounds. ... Read More →