How Repowering Aging Renewables in the Midcontinent Impacts Carbon Emissions

June 18, 2020 in Electricity Authors: Jessi Wyatt, Maggie Kristian

How Repowering Aging Renewables in the Midcontinent Impacts Carbon EmissionsMany wind and solar energy projects in the Midcontinent will face the decision to repower or decommission as they reach the end of their useful lifespan between 2020-2050. These decisions will impact the energy mix of the existing electricity system—and its carbon emissions. We analyzed potential scenarios for repowering the Midcontinent’s wind and solar energy fleet, sharing potential implications for the region’s electricity system and carbon emissions. These scenarios show why repowering aging renewables in the Midcontinent is important to continue reducing the region’s electricity emissions. Continue reading »

Pilot Project Studies Managed Electric Vehicle Charging in a Workplace Setting

May 27, 2020 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Maggie Kristian

An electric vehicle charging at the greenway buildingThe Great Plains Institute’s pilot project to study managed electric vehicle (EV) charging with on-site solar generation shows how a solar-synchronized EV charging system can function throughout the year—even in wintry Minnesota—and meet the needs of EV drivers at a workplace. This post describes the impacts of the solar-synchronized system on EVs at GPI’s headquarters in Minneapolis. The pilot project findings provide data that can contribute to discussions about building managed charging infrastructure, grid impacts, and factors to consider for future system designs.   Continue reading »

MISO Interconnection Rules for Hybrid Resources Shape Access to Electricity Market

April 24, 2020 in Electricity Authors: Maggie Kristian, Matt Prorok

Transmission lines in front of sunsetElectricity market rules in development by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO, the region’s grid operator) will impact the competitiveness of hybrid resources, a type of electricity resource which can bring more carbon-free energy to the region. Emerging MISO interconnection rules and processes will determine how hybrid resources connect to the grid, which will shape everything from how these resources are designed to how much electricity and other grid services they can provide. Continue reading »

Hybrid Resources in the MISO Electricity Market: An Emerging Opportunity

March 12, 2020 in Electricity Authors: Maggie Kristian, Matt Prorok

Electricity markets, the federal government, and state governments across the country are working on how to address hybrid resources, which are a combination of multiple generation technologies and/or storage devices that work together to provide energy, capacity, and other grid services. This post focuses on hybrid resources in the MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) market and describes their unique attributes and value to the grid, which can help inform how market rules incorporate them. Continue reading »

Electric Sector Emissions: How Geographic Choices Impact Modeling & Analysis

March 4, 2020 in Electricity Authors: Jessi Wyatt, Maggie Kristian

In our work on modeling and projections of electric sector greenhouse gas emissions, GPI often sees analysts using federally published electricity generation and emissions data defined by large geographic electricity regions rather than by an individual state or a specific electric utility. While using these large regions is convenient in terms of data availability, it can miss key differences in electric sector emissions that are available at more granular geographic regions. Continue reading »

Managed Electric Vehicle Charging Benefits Tested in Solar Synchronization Pilot

March 3, 2020 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Maggie Kristian

An electric vehicle charger outside the Greenway building in Minneapolis, MNManaged electric vehicle charging can have benefits for two different groups—the demand side (the electric vehicle owner, the building owner, the power customer) and the supply side (the whole electric grid system). This blog looks at the benefits of managed electric vehicle charging and how it works in practice, using 2019 examples from the Greenway Building (GPI’s headquarters) where charging levels are synchronized with on-site solar production. Continue reading »

Pilot Project Gets Solar Panels in Sync with Electric Vehicle Chargers

January 9, 2020 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Maggie Kristian

What if we could harness the energy produced by the sun and maximize its potential to power electric vehicles (EVs) with zero-carbon electricity? That’s exactly what GPI has been working on in a pilot project that studies how managed EV charging can pull varying levels of power from the solar panels on our rooftop based on how much solar is being produced at a given time. This ability to use “solar synchronization” could have big implications for reducing carbon emissions in both the electricity and transportation sectors, and presents potential benefits for consumers and businesses alike. Continue reading »

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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