Engaging Communities on Utility-Scale Wind & Solar Development in the Midwest: Part II, Local Considerations

October 7, 2019 in Communities, Electricity Authors: Jenna Greene, Jessi Wyatt

The lowering cost of wind and solar energy generation has a local impact: communities are going to see more wind and solar development projects, more often. Communities see many of the direct impacts from these developments, from tax revenues to opportunities for co-beneficial land uses to managing resident feedback on such development. Many local considerations and indicators can help communities understand opportunities for maximizing local co-benefits as the market continues to increase for utility-scale solar and wind development. 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 »

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 »

Enabling Local Action on Energy Goals through Engagement on State Policy

November 29, 2018 in Communities Author: Jenna Greene

Local governments of all sizes are setting energy goals across Minnesota. They see the rapid advancements in technology and the economic benefits that come with renewable energy and electrification of transportation. Yet when it comes to implementation, communities regularly face barriers to enact the programs and projects that will help them achieve their goals. Continue reading »

Dedicated City Staff Crucial to Setting and Implementing Energy Goals

November 6, 2018 in Communities Author: Jenna Greene

Photo Courtesy of CERTs

Sustainability issues such as energy, water quality, and climate mitigation and resiliency are becoming increasingly important to cities in Minnesota and across the country. At the same time, it is challenging for city staff to focus on improving citywide sustainability given the daily needs and priorities of government service delivery and operations.   Continue reading »