Powering the Future in Rural Minnesota: Assessing Views of Solar Energy as a Local Resource

December 7, 2018 in Communities Authors: Brian Ross, Jenna Greene

Like many parts of the US, communities in rural Minnesota are experiencing growing interest among residents and businesses in development of an untapped, local economic resource: solar energy. To help communities understand and plan for development of solar resources, the Great Plains Institute has engaged local leaders to identify key gaps in information, challenges, and opportunities associated with such development. Continue reading »

Understanding Your City’s Energy Resources

July 18, 2018 in Communities Author: Brian Ross

The Great Plains Institute is working with cities, counties, and regional governments to routinely incorporate energy planning into local policies, plans, and regulations. To address local energy issues, local governments must first understand community energy use and anticipate how energy resources, markets, and technologies evolve over time. Continue reading »

Solar Toolkits

March 10, 2018 in Communities, Reports & Whitepapers Author: Brian Ross

As part of the Grow Solar Partnership, toolkits have been assembled to equip local governments in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois with information regarding solar development as it relates to planning, zoning, and permitting. The purpose of these toolkits is to provide resources that will assist communities in addressing barriers to solar energy installations in a manner tailored to each community’s needs. Continue reading »

Making Your City “EV Ready”

November 30, 2017 in Transportation & Fuels Authors: Brian Ross, Katelyn Bocklund

Electric vehicles (EVs) are gaining traction among consumers, governments, and automakers as battery prices fall and the benefits of EVs increase. Within the last year, virtually every major automobile manufacturer has announced plans to transition to electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. As cities look to capitalize on the opportunity that EVs can bring, from lower maintenance costs for consumers to better air quality for residents, they also must lay the groundwork for their communities to become ‘EV ready’. Continue reading »

How Duluth’s New Mapping Tool Helps Predict Solar Energy Potential

February 8, 2017 in Electricity Authors: Brian Ross, Dane McFarlane

The City of Duluth, Minnesota recently launched a new web-based solar energy mapping tool for its residents and businesses that will help lower the barriers to solar development in the city. The app, called “Duluth Shines,” helps users evaluate their rooftop’s solar potential and estimate the size and cost of a solar installation. The tool is generating new interest in solar opportunities and has received coverage in local and regional news. Continue reading »