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The Better Energy Community is constantly growing and evolving.

Read about our latest projects and successes on our blog.

Exploring Renewable Energy Procurement Options with Cities

August 1, 2019 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

Cities and other local governments are actively participating in the renewable electricity market. Whether they’re participating for environmental or economic purposes (or both), communities continue to see the benefits of clean electricity and seek opportunities to add more for government operations and more broadly for residents and businesses. Navigating renewable energy procurement can be complex, especially as additional purchasing options become available. Continue reading »

Analysis: How Demand Charges Impact Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Infrastructure

July 31, 2019 in Electricity, Reports & Whitepapers, Transportation & Fuels Authors: Dane McFarlane, Matt Prorok

GPI recently released a white paper analyzing the economics of direct current fast charging (DCFC) as part of our work with the Midcontinent Transportation Electrification Collaborative (MTEC). DCFC stations are critical for widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) because they provide access to much faster battery charging in public places and along major driving routes and highways. The white paper focused on a specific barrier to increased DCFC stations in the region: electric utility demand charges.  Continue reading »

Solar Energy & Agriculture: Pursuing Win-Win Opportunities

July 9, 2019 in Communities, Electricity Author: Brian Ross

NREL solar panels with pollinator friendly plants

The largest solar farm proposal in the Midwest recently received approval from Wisconsin state regulators. Most of the 3,500-acre Badger Hollow Solar Farm project, which is being developed by Illinois-based Invenergy, is located on active farmland and will include up to 1.2 million solar panels on 2,200 acres of the project area. Some in the community saw the project as a staggering land use change in their community and contrary to the county’s farmland preservation plan. Significant local opposition to the project decried the use of prime agricultural land for solar production.

This case is emblematic of the dilemmas faced by the solar industry, utilities, and those working at the local, state, and federal levels to decarbonize the power sector and increase the use of local renewable energy. The Great Plains Institute is working to address these issues in ways that support solar development and agricultural protection goals. Continue reading »

Want a 100 percent Carbon-Free Electricity Grid? Keep Carbon Capture in the Mix.

July 8, 2019 in Carbon Management, Electricity Author: Franz Litz

Workers at construction site

A number of states have set 100-percent clean energy standards or targets for their electricity sectors, with many others openly considering such a goal. In its recently released A Road Map to Decarbonization in the Midcontinent: Electricity Sector, the Midcontinent Power Sector Collaborative (which is convened by the Great Plains Institute) suggests that these 100-percent targets are achievable by 2050 with currently demonstrated technologies. The road map also supports a mid-century strategy that remains open to a mix of very low-carbon and carbon-free resources, including carbon capture. Continue reading »

Major Announcements and Action Typify this Year’s CO2NNECT Conference

July 2, 2019 in Carbon Management Authors: Jill Rook, Patrice Lahlum

Leaders and stakeholders who are catalyzing carbon capture, storage, utilization, and removal efforts in the US recently gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Now in its second year, the CO2NNECT Conference, hosted by the Great Plains Institute (GPI), focused on what deliberate and strategic actions are needed for carbon capture, storage, removal, and utilization to reach its full potential as a national energy, jobs, and emissions reduction solution. Continue reading »

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