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Sabathani’s Community Energy Project: Building Resilience, Equity, and a Greener Future

Welcome to Sabathani Community Center’s Community Energy Project, a transformative initiative aimed at creating a resilient, equitable, and sustainable South Minneapolis. We believe in harnessing the power of community to address climate change, systemic inequalities, and poverty simultaneously. Join us on this journey towards a cleaner, greener, and more just future.

Our Vision: Environmental Justice, Resilience, and Racial Equity

In the face of climate-related emergencies, power outages, and natural disasters, our South Minneapolis community deserves a trusted haven. The Community Energy Project is a vital part of the broader 38th Street THRIVE Strategic Development Plan for the City of Minneapolis. It embodies our commitment to: 

  1. Resilience Hub: Establishing Sabathani as a Resilience Hub for the neighborhood, serving as a beacon of hope and support during times of crisis.
  2. Energy Efficiency: Renovating Sabathani’s physical building to become energy-efficient by replacing our outdated heating and cooling system with a renewable energy geothermal system. This eco-friendly upgrade reduces operating costs and pollution in our community. 
  3. Workforce Development: Providing a living laboratory and training center for geothermal and solar workforce training, ensuring job placement and empowering our community through green employment opportunities.
  4. Microgrid Technology: Implementing microgrid technology and battery backup storage, enabling Sabathani and its critical community services to remain operational to remain operational even during extended power outages.

Addressing Systemic Inequalities 

Our mission extends beyond environmental objectives; it’s about social justice. We are actively: 

  • Fighting Climate Change: By transitioning from 58-year-old polluting, fossil-fuel boilers to a geothermal HVAC system, we are taking tangible steps to reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change. 
  • Resilience Hub for Equity: We are building a resilience hub in a community of color, addressing systemic inequalities and creating a blueprint for how climate and racial justice can go hand in hand. 
  • Green Job Opportunities: Our project turns Sabathani into an energy producer and a center for green job training, creating economic opportunities that uplift our community. 
  • Worst to First: We’re determined to transform our building from a zero Energy Star Rating to a symbol of environmental excellence, moving from worst to first in our energy-efficiency score. 

Featured in the Star Tribune

But, for Sabathani, the venture is not only about having a heating operation that makes economic sense…It could serve a 72-unit multifamily housing project planned at the site. It also would help a clean energy job training program. Geothermal would also reduce emissions from the building in an area with high asthma rates, another draw for an organization with a desire to take environmental justice measures and to address climate change. ‘We care and we want to make a difference and this is our way of doing that,’ Redd said….” 


Exciting Update: Major Funding Secured for Our Community Energy Project

May 30, 2024: We are thrilled to announce that Sabathani Community Center has been awarded $6.4 million by the State of Minnesota to support our groundbreaking Community Energy Project. This generous funding includes $6 million for the development of a district energy geothermal system, which will help reduce pollution, lower carbon emissions, and decrease energy costs for our community. Additionally, $400,000 has been allocated to our Workforce Development Training Center, empowering local residents with the skills needed for sustainable employment in the green economy.

This funding is a significant milestone in our journey towards a more sustainable future, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our partners and supporters. Your unwavering support and collaborative efforts have been instrumental in turning our vision into reality.

While we still have $8.5 million to raise to complete the project, this achievement brings us one step closer to creating a safer, greener community. Stay tuned for more updates as we move forward with this exciting initiative! Sign up below to get involved.

Community Energy / Resilience Hub - Email Signup

Please sign up here if you'd like to learn more about Sabathani's Community Energy Project and the Minneapolis Resilience Hub project. We'll send you an email when we have updates to share or when there are opportunities to get involved. 
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