Throughout CenterPoint Energy’s office at 5th Street and Nicollet Mall is a spirit of innovation and leadership—two ideals synonymous with the company dating back to its formation as the Minneapolis Gas Light Company in 1870.
Back then, the company made gas from coal and delivered it through yellow pine logs to provide the first nighttime illumination to the streets of downtown Minneapolis. Today, with a pilot project on the edge of downtown, CenterPoint Energy is again making gas – but this time, it is using water and renewable electricity to make carbon-free hydrogen gas to blend with natural gas.
It is just one example that shows how their innovation and leadership continues – whether by pursuing new technological opportunities, continuously improving their customer-driven approach to doing business or promoting the vitality of downtown through the mpls downtown council.
They do it because they believe in community and the well-being of their customers and neighbors. And they also do it, simply, because downtown is home.
That belief in their home continues through CenterPoint Energy’s commitment as a minnepolis downtown council Skyline Partner.
Downtown has been CenterPoint Energy’s home for more than 150 years
“Downtown Minneapolis has been our home for more than 150 years,” said Christe Singleton, CenterPoint Energy’s Vice President of Minnesota Gas. “Times have changed, downtown has changed and our company has changed. But our commitment to downtown Minneapolis is constant.”
With 1,200 employees in Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy serves more than 900,000 residential and business customers as the state’s largest natural gas utility. They’ve built longevity and trust because of their dependable nature—something they’ve also committed to their downtown community.
In addition to their Minnesota headquarters on Nicollet Mall, CenterPoint Energy has two other facilities in the downtown area – one along West Mississippi River Parkway and the other near the intersection of I-394 and I-94.
“Our presence in downtown Minneapolis has helped support our innovative spirit,” Singleton said. “We want the customers and communities we serve to know that we remain committed to our trusted role providing reliable, affordable natural gas while also pursuing new, cleaner energy pathways and opportunities.”
Most recently, this innovative spirit in action could be seen in the first five-year “innovation plan” that CenterPoint Energy submitted under a new landmark state energy law, the Natural Gas Innovation Act. Subject to approval by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, CenterPoint Energy’s plan proposes a wide-ranging set of innovative projects to reduce carbon emissions and advance a cleaner energy future in Minnesota — including made-in-Minnesota alternative gases such as renewable natural gas and green hydrogen, as well as pioneering technologies such as end-use carbon capture and a networked geothermal district energy system.
An advocate and supporter for downtown’s vitality
For years, CenterPoint Energy has been an advocate for downtown’s vitality through the company’s support of the mpls downtown council. For more than two decades, the company served as title sponsor of the Torchlight Parade, the kickoff event of the annual Aquatennial celebration. The company’s employees have also been honored to serve in leadership positions on the mpls downtown council board of directors and various committees.
As a strong downtown advocate, CenterPoint Energy continues to be focused on helping promote the vibrancy of downtown.
“What we love most about being part of downtown Minneapolis is simply the fact that it is our home,” Singleton said. “The mpls downtown council’s work is essential to the vitality and success of the downtown community—and it has become all the more important as downtown addresses challenges in the aftermath of COVID-19.”
When the pandemic subsided, CenterPoint Energy was among the first downtown businesses to welcome their employees back to the office on a regular basis. The company also helped underwrite the mpls downtown council’s downtown reanimation campaign.
“Our employees appreciate the many exciting activities and events that the mpls downtown council has helped organize to reanimate downtown,” said Singleton. “For example, this summer’s ‘Downtown Thursdays’ series brought a great, renewed spirit to Nicollet Mall.”
The mpls downtown council works daily with committed partners like CenterPoint Energy to keep downtown thriving as the economic engine of our region—a place where workers can engage and thrive, residents can enjoy close commutes to as well as sports and entertainment, diners can enjoy world-class cuisine, and people can connect and engage in a central location.
“The mpls downtown council helps inspire all of us with their vision,” said Singleton. “As a Skyline Partner, we are proud of our longstanding support for downtown Minneapolis.”