Steamfitters Pipefitters Local 455, Fresh Energy, and the BlueGreen Alliance today hosted a tour of a cutting-edge geothermal energy system with Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and local labor, environment, and civic leaders and local community members. The event showcased the work the City of Saint Paul has been doing to grow geothermal and ground-source district energy systems and discussed how other cities around the state could tap into the opportunity it presents.
“There’s a ton of potential for geothermal and other ground-source energy but we need the workforce to install and maintain these systems the right way,” said Steamfitters Pipefitters Local 455 Training Director Jeremy McConkey. “We’re proud to showcase our work building the workforce Minnesota needs to grow clean energy in our state.”
“I am proud that Saint Paul is leading the way with green technology,” said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “Reducing emissions is vital to combating climate change and is at the center of our Climate Action and Resilience Plan. This work is critical to providing union jobs, investment opportunities, and a path toward a clean, prosperous, and equitable future.”
Speakers at the roundtable following the tour focused on how local governments can take advantage of incentives in the federal Inflation Reduction Act to build a strong clean energy workforce, provide good pay and benefits for workers, and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector.
“There’s a historic investment in helping communities, businesses, and families move to cleaner sources of energy—like geothermal—and the work that’s been done by the City of Saint Paul and Steamfitters Pipefitters Local 455 members proves that it’s possible and affordable,” said BlueGreen Alliance Minnesota State Policy Organizer Abby Hornberger.
“Geothermal and ground-source energy systems are critical technologies for cold climates like Minnesota that help meet our shared goal of creating an equitable and carbon-neutral Minnesota,” said Craig McDonnell, Managing Director, Industry at Fresh Energy. “What makes these systems so exciting is that they have the potential to replace fossil gas, dramatically cutting carbon pollution, creating family-sustaining jobs, improving our health, and reducing building energy costs while at the same time putting less pressure on our electric grid.”