The redevelopment of Rice Creek Commons offers an incredible opportunity to build a forward-looking, energy-conscious community. To accomplish these goals, Ramsey County and the City of Arden Hills are pursuing energy solutions which are not only environmentally sustainable, but also cost-effective over the long term.

The county created an Energy Resiliency Advisory Board (ERAB) to develop 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.


The Energy Resiliency Advisory Board envisions Rice Creek Commons as a vibrant development that leverages long-term energy strategies and infrastructure to attract investment and partnership, and achieves sustainable benefits for Arden Hills and the surrounding community.

Guiding principles

To develop the framework, the ERAB is following several guiding principles:

  • Establish Rice Creek Commons as a national model for development of integrated energy systems
  • Develop a resilient community for energy and other utilities
  • Implement infrastructure solutions that are flexible and scalable over the next 50 years
  • Deliver a model of efficient energy and water usage that minimizes Rice Creek Commons’ impact on the environment
  • Create an economically competitive and attractive environment for developers and businesses