• May 20, 2024

    Stephen Klimek is named Executive Director of Towerside. Stephen is a strategic organizational leader and city-building professional who advances equitable community & economic development through place-based design and planning, impact-driven projects, and systematic approaches to collective challenges.

  • April 26, 2024

    Towerside adopted an Equity Framework that will serve as the foundation for delivering diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes within the organization, through our work, and as an influencer among our partners and peers.

  • December 16, 2021

    UMN Masters of Urban and Regional Planning students held a community exhibit today to showcase 10 land use planning projects focused on reconsidering the notion of an innovation district.

  • September 30, 2020

    Green 4th Street Enhancements Completed

  • June 30, 2020

    Metropolitan Council awards $100,000 grant for District Stormwater Phase II


Towerside Energy District

October 01, 2021 by towersideadmin

The vision of Towerside Innovation District always included innovation in energy use; sustainability, energy independence, and without the use of fossil fuels.

That groundbreaking sustainability project moved a significant step forward on September 24, 2021 when the Minneapolis City Council approved a loan for the construction of an aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) system.

While common in Europe, this will be the first ATES system in Minnesota. Ever-Green Energy, an engineering consulting firm and a key player in the project, says Towerside is "envisioned as a living laboratory that fosters resilient urban living." It wasn’t clear until recently that the system would work. Many tests later, ATES is the answer.

The aquifer thermal energy system works by using the aquifer as a “thermal battery. ”ATES is considered a sustainable alternative to conventional heating and cooling systems. Instead of relying on air conditioners or traditional heaters to regulate temperature in buildings, ATES uses underground water wells (a body of underground rock that water can move through easily—this one is known as the Jordan Aquifer) to store heat in the summer that can be used in the winter, and vice versa. Towerside will have the distinction of employing ATES in an area with the coldest climate.

It will work efficiently when covering a large number of apartments and will resist price shocks, which is when energy prices increase dramatically. Use of the ATES aquifer expects to save 550 thousand tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere. "Over the life of the system, it is estimated to save at least $21 million in carbon emissions," the city says.

Content credits to, and full-articles: Bring Me The News, Minnesota Daily