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Hennepin County leaders are hiring a St. Paul company to run the facility that heats and cools county buildings in downtown Minneapolis.

The County Board approved a 10-year contract Tuesday with Ever-Green Energy worth $40 million to operate the district energy facility on S. 6th Street across from U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Hennepin County Energy Center provides steam and chilled water to the government center, HCMC, the public safety facility, the forensic sciences building, the juvenile justice center and several private customers.

Under the pass-through agreement, Ever-Green will receive a monthly management fee and the county will be responsible for other operational and maintenance costs.

Ever-Green currently operates District Energy St. Paul, which provides hot and chilled water to most buildings downtown, including the state Capitol complex. The St. Paul site uses wood chips as one of its primary sources of fuel and is one of the few ways to dispose of ash trees in the metro.

Ever-Green also operates facilities across the nation, including: a heating and cooling plant in Duluth, a cooling facility in Cincinnati and district energy for Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.

Previously, Energy Center Minneapolis operated the Hennepin County Energy Center since 2009, under the names Clearway and NRG. County officials put the contract out for competitive bids in 2023 and said Ever-Green was the lowest and best bid.

The Hennepin County Energy Center is different from the district energy facility, between 8th and 9th streets, operated by Cordia. That facility provides heating and cooling to roughly 100 customers downtown.

Cordia is a parent company to the organizations that operated the county's district energy facility. In a statement, the company said it would "partner with Hennepin County to deliver reliable heating and cooling solutions as our systems are integrated together."