The redevelopment of Rice Creek Commons offers an incredible opportunity to build a forward-looking, sustainable community. To accomplish these goals, Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills are pursuing solutions which are not only environmentally conscious, but also cost effective over the useful life of the building or system. The Rice Creek Commons development will demonstrate advanced systems and leverage partnerships to achieve sustainable benefits for Arden Hills and the surrounding community.
Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills are taking a comprehensive, regional approach to protecting area natural resources and stormwater treatment for Rice Creek Commons. As a part of this, they have developed a Comprehensive Surface Water Management Plan (CSMP) that addresses the needs of both public infrastructure and private development. The county and city have also partnered with the Rice Creek Watershed District to conduct a Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Reuse Feasibility study. The goal of the feasibility analysis is to identify potential green infrastructure projects, including stormwater reuse systems, that go above-and-beyond the baseline requirements.
Rice Creek Commons is the first Advanced Energy Community (AEC) Pilot Project in Minnesota. The AEC Pilot brings together Ramsey County, Alatus, and Xcel Energy to work cooperatively in the creation of a Master Development Energy Integration Plan. The plan will promote energy resource conversation and drive energy systems and energy resiliency goals for Rice Creek Commons.
The county created an Energy Resiliency Advisory Board (ERAB) to oversee development of an Energy Integration Resiliency Framework for Rice Creek Commons that can serve as a model for communities in Minnesota and across the country. The framework, which sets a vision to create the largest net-zero energy redevelopment in the state, outlines the appropriate planning guidelines and policies with careful consideration of local resources, stakeholder interests, project goals, and the best-available technologies for implementation over the next 50 years.
This undertaking was carried out in two phases: the creation of a Policy White Paper in November 2014 that provides a unifying vision for the site’s energy future; and the creation of an Energy Integration Resiliency Framework in April 2015 that outlines specific details for achieving the vision put forth in the policy paper. These documents are reflected in a Memorandum of Understanding between Ramsey County, Xcel Energy, and Alatus Development.