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Minnesota Department of Transportation Releases Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation Report

September 18, 2019 in News & Press, Transportation & Fuels Author: Gail Nosek

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) shows routes to a lower-carbon future for the largest greenhouse gas emitting sector in the state. The Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation report was created through public input and modeling and outlines recommendations and next steps toward reducing emissions. Continue reading »

Approval of a Wisconsin Transmission Project Marks a Major Milestone for Clean Energy in the Midwest

September 11, 2019 in Electricity Authors: Matt Prorok, Rolf Nordstrom

In 2007, a bipartisan group of seven governors announced ground-breaking energy and climate agreements that would go on to shape the region’s energy system. Over a decade later, Wisconsin regulators recently approved the capstone transmission project, the last in a set of 17 “multi-value transmission projects” (MVPs) across the region representing $6.5 billion in investment that grew out of those original agreementsThe MVP portfolio’s 17 projects will enable over 16 GW of wind generation to come online, delivering 52 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy throughout the MISO footprint through 2031. Put another way, without these lines, over 60 percent of the renewable energy needed to meet the region’s renewables goals through 2031 would have been curtailed.  Continue reading »

e21 Forum Highlights Four Areas of Energy Innovation Across Minnesota

September 10, 2019 in Electricity Author: Trevor Drake

Minnesota energy stakeholders came together at the end of August to learn about four areas of innovation happening across the state’s energy system. The event was put on by the e21 Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment that convenes diverse stakeholder groups to help shape and advance a decarbonized, customer-centric, and technologically modern energy system in Minnesota.

Continue reading »

New Resources to Help Cities Add Electric Fleet Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

September 10, 2019 in Communities, Transportation & Fuels Author: Diana McKeown

During 2018-19,  28 Minnesota cities worked together in regional cohorts through the Cities Charging Ahead! (CCA) project to learn and act together to become “electric vehicle (EV) ready communities.” These cities increased their knowledge significantly and made strides toward their goals to foster EV adoption in their communities. CCA, which was led by the Great Plains Institute and Clean Energy Resource Teams, officially wrapped up in June but the cities have expressed an interest in continuing to meet periodically in their regional cohorts. To build on this interest and the knowledge gained through CCA, we’ve developed resources that are now available for other cities to learn from.  Continue reading »

Engaging Communities on Utility-Scale Wind & Solar Development in the Midwest: Part I, Market Drivers

September 9, 2019 in Communities, Electricity Authors: Jenna Greene, Jessi Wyatt

In the Midwest, powerful market drivers are creating an attractive environment for investors and developers to build more renewable energy projects and infrastructure. Declining technology costs for utility-scale wind and solar are combined in the region with an abundance of wind and solar resources. As utility-scale renewable energy projects increase across the region, it is important for communities to have an understanding of these market drivers and to prepare for project development and siting. Continue reading »

How to Electrify Your Fleet: Lessons from Cities Charging Ahead Fleet Studies

September 4, 2019 in Transportation & Fuels Author: Joe Cella

Stakeholder groups working to increase electric vehicle (EV) adoption often highlight the money you can save by driving an EV over the lifetime of the vehicle as one of several benefits of switching to an EV. Many studies support this finding on EV savings (such as this one from MIT) and have caught the interest of cities which manage a fleet of vehicles. Recently, Minnesota cities working together in the Cities Charging Ahead effort (more info here) saw firsthand through an analysis of their fleet just how much they could save by replacing certain vehicles in their municipal fleets with EVs. Continue reading »

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Economics: GPI’s DC Fast Charging Calculator

August 15, 2019 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Dane McFarlane

Person using a calculatorAs part of our research on the economics of DC fast charging, the Great Plains Institute created a model to calculate the costs and revenue of operating an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Through our work with the EV industry, we’ve often heard charging operators, community leaders, and EV owners express a desire to explore how station operation impacts costs for both EV charger owners and users. Continue reading »

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