e21 Initiative Phase 3

Convened by the Great Plains Institute and the Center for Energy and Environment


The e21 Initiative aims to develop a 21st century electric system in Minnesota by enabling a more customer-centric and sustainable framework for utility regulation that better aligns how utilities earn revenue with public policy goals, new customer expectations, and the changing technology landscape.

This page provides an overview of the ongoing third and final phase of e21. For information on previous phases, please click here to access the general e21 Initiative project page.


Phase 3: Learning by Doing

A consistent theme in e21 discussions to date has been the value of pilot projects in exploring new customer products and services and new operational techniques for utilities. Responding to this theme, e21's third and final phase proposes to bring stakeholders together to learn about innovative pilot projects and activities in Minnesota and beyond, support stakeholder engagement in those projects, and ultimately shorten the distance between good ideas and implementation to move us toward a 21st century electric system in Minnesota.


e21 Forums

In order to maintain and grow the opportunity for mutual learning and facilitated discussion, e21 will host 3-4 public forums each year to help identify shared interests, minimize unnecessarily adversarial and costly disputes in the formal regulatory process, and solicit input from a broader set of stakeholders. These forums will provide a chance for attendees to do the following:

1.     Hear from utilities about their pilot projects

2.     Provide feedback on those pilots with the aim of improving them before they come before the Public Utilities Commission

3.     Continue to learn from national and local experts on issues relevant to Minnesota’s changing electric sector

Click here to access resources from past forums >>


Project Teams

In addition to e21 Forums, GPI and CEE will also assemble small project teams of 10-12 local and national experts to help provide deeper advice to utility pilot projects. Depending on the complexity of projects and related issues, there may be 1-2 teams assembled per year. Summaries and insights from these project teams will be made available to the broader public, including at e21 Forums.


Note on the Role of Consensus in Phase 3: The e21 Initiative was founded on the premise that recommendations for evolving Minnesota’s existing regulatory framework and the utility business model would be strongest if a diverse set of interests could agree on what those changes should be. In supporting this premise, previous e21 phases sought consensus among participants when making recommendations. While we still hope the stakeholder engagement process can lead to better pilot projects and broad agreement on them, we will not be seeking consensus in this phase so that a broader range of interests will feel comfortable participating in the discussion.


For more information please contact e21 staff

Rolf Nordstrom, Great Plains Institute:  rnordstrom@gpisd.net

Mike Bull, Center for Energy and Environment:  mbull@mncee.org

Doug Scott, Great Plains Institute: dscott@gpisd.net

Trevor Drake, Great Plains Institute: tdrake@gpisd.net