GPI Goes to the Movies: The Current War

November 26, 2019 in Electricity Authors: Katelyn Bocklund, Maggie Kristian

Three hanging light bulbs

On occasion, Great Plains Institute (GPI) staff like to venture into the world of pop culture, especially when that pop culture has to do with our favorite topic—energy. Some GPI staff attended the recent film The Current War, which dives into the origins of our modern electric grid system and the inventors, investors, and engineers that made it happen. Two of our staff members shared some thoughts about that battle over who would create the modern electric grid and the critical work ahead to transform the grid for a low-carbon future.

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“Smart” Charging Electric Vehicles with Solar at the Greenway Building

May 25, 2018 in Transportation & Fuels Authors: Dane McFarlane, Katelyn Bocklund, Matt Prorok

A man installing an electric vehicle charger

Electricity systems are increasingly becoming interactive and dynamic, opening up opportunities for energy technologies to “talk” to each other and create numerous benefits for energy consumers (e.g., increased efficiency, lower costs, and reduced emissions). This opportunity is one that GPI and our partners are exploring through the combination of electric vehicles (EVs) and solar energy.
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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 »

Utilities, Companies, and Local Governments Discuss Opportunities for Collaboration on EVs in Minnesota

November 20, 2017 in Transportation & Fuels Author: Katelyn Bocklund

Earlier this fall, the Great Plains Institute hosted our third annual Energy Innovation Celebration with a focus on “Solutions from the Ground Up.” Ahead of the big event, the Metro Clean Energy Resource Team, in collaboration with Drive Electric Minnesota, hosted a pre-workshop focused on electric vehicles (EVs). More importantly, the workshop invited conversations centered around collaboration among utilities, local governments, and corporations on how to increase EV adoption in Minnesota. While the workshop helped to confirm some things we already knew, it also brought forth new context from additional voices in the room. Continue reading »

Midcontinent Power Sector Collaborative Tours General Motors’ Battery Lab

November 18, 2017 in Transportation & Fuels Author: Katelyn Bocklund

As part of its September quarterly meeting, the Midcontinent Power Sector Collaborative (MPSC) had the unique opportunity to tour General Motors’ Battery Lab and learn about the power behind electric vehicles. Led by GM employee Douglas Drauch, the tour consisted of multiple stops including the Pack Lab, Cell & Module Lab, and Shaker Room. Continue reading »