Eight years ago, St, Cloud (MN) Mayor Dave Kleis set a goal for City operations to be carbon neutral by 2030, not including energy generated by the city's hydropower dam on the Mississippi. The city met the goal of carbon neutrality in 2020 - ten years ahead of plan. When taking into account the hydro facility, the city now produces three times as much energy as it uses as a municipality — saving about $1.5 million from their annual budget. The City's new goal is that by 2028 the entire St. Cloud community is carbon neutral for its electrical use, and by 2038 will be carbon neutral for electrical, building heat and transportation.
As part of meeting this goal, the City of St. Cloud is now pursuing a course that could lead to their city operations to being carbon negative - taking in more carbon than they emit. They are integrating treatment of their wastewater, the use of solar energy to power their services and the recovery of biogas and fertilizer. The treatment center is also poised to be the first wastewater facility in the world to use all end products on-site from the electrolysis process, including: producing green hydrogen, green oxygen and waste heat, fuel and pure oxygen on-site, as well as run the first program in the country to capture carbon from exhaust and be able to sell the end product for building materials.
The webinar was recorded - click the video link above to watch it on the LWV UMRR YouTube channel.
About Tracy Hodel:
Tracy Hodel earned a degree in aquatic biology from St. Cloud State University in 2000. She began her career with the city in 2001 as a laboratory technician. She was promoted to utilities water quality coordinator in 2003 and to assistant public utilities director in 2006. In November of 2019, Tracy was appointed St. Cloud’s Public Services Director.
Tracy is certified in water and wastewater operations; she is also certified in Envision Sustainability, which focuses on implementing sustainability in infrastructure projects.
Providing innovative, high quality, cost-effective public services to the City of St. Cloud’s residents and customers is a key driver for Tracy’s current role as Public Services Director for the City of St. Cloud.
In recent years, the City of St. Cloud has taken a national and global leadership role in its sustainability efforts due to City staff’s efforts. Tracy is leading this initiative and advocates for being big and bold with ideas, being brave enough to implement them and never underestimating the impact of small actions. Taking action is a critical key to learning and success.
Tracy gave a TED talk titled "Think about what you flush - it has amazing potential!" - click here to see it!
Background on the St. Cloud Public Services Department, from the City of St. Cloud website:
|LWV Upper Mississippi River Region