Cities Go to Boot Camp to Overcome Barriers to Renewable Energy Adoption

June 18, 2019 in Communities Author: Gail Nosek


When it comes to communities taking action to accelerate sustainability, the peer cohort model is proven to be successful time and time again because it allows people to learn together and learn from each other. To 
build on that success, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) and the Clean Energy Resources Teams (CERTs) are creating a network of Minnesota cities focused on identifying and overcoming barriers to renewable energy procurement.
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Energy Data Protocol Developed by Minnesota Utility Energy Registry Project

May 7, 2019 in Communities Author: Lola Schoenrich

Access to utility energy data will play a critical role in the level of success communities achieve in shaping their energy future. That’s why the Great Plains Institute, with our partners and other stakeholders, identified opportunities to improve availability of electric utility data at the community-level and developed a data protocol as a resource for communities. Continue reading »

The EV-olution Comes to Minnesota Communities

May 7, 2019 in Communities, Transportation & Fuels Author: Diana McKeown

Earlier this spring, 100 electric vehicle (EV) stakeholders gathered for a day-long event, “EV-olution: Charging Ahead with Electric Vehicles in Minnesota Communities,” held at the at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory. The event brought together people from 35 cities, state agencies, all of Minnesota major electric utilities, and nonprofits working in the EV space to accelerate the transition to an electrified transportation system. Continue reading »

GPI 20th Anniversary Leadership Interview Series: Vice President Lola Schoenrich, Communities

March 12, 2019 in Communities, News & Press Author: Gail Nosek

Over the last year, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) celebrated our 20th anniversary as an organization dedicated to transforming the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. As GPI staff, partners, and supporters reflect on the progress we’ve made together and look ahead to future opportunities for even greater impact in 2019 and beyond, we’re sharing a Q&A series we’ve created with our CEO and program leadership team. Continue reading »

New Interactive Tool Helps St. Louis Park Visualize Solar Potential

February 28, 2019 in Communities Author: Jessi Wyatt

The City of St. Louis Park in Minnesota passed an ambitious Climate Action Plan in 2018 which documented the city’s goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040. Within the plan, the city also details a goal to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 and supply 10 percent of building electricity consumption with rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) by the same year. Continue reading »

System Design for a High-Renewables Future: Insights from the MN Solar Pathways Analysis

January 14, 2019 in Communities, Electricity Author: Brian Ross

If sunlight strikes a solar panel, but we don’t use the electricity generated, is it “wasted”? In some parts of the country, so much solar energy is produced at midday that there is no use for it. Demand for electricity has already been fully met by solar and other sources of generation; the value of additional electricity on the grid is actually negative. Continue reading »

Lightning Talks, Live Polling Spark Engaging Discussions at Metro CERT Annual Event

January 10, 2019 in Communities Author: Kristoffer Acuña

The Metro Clean Energy Resource team recently brought people together from the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area for its 11th annual event. Highlights from the event, which took place in November 2018, include live polling, a panel of lightning talks focusing on clean energy actions in the metro area, and clean energy action postcards that will be sent to attendees. In this blog, we’ll share some of the results of the discussions and resources shared with attendees. Continue reading »

GPI Welcomes Kristoffer Acuña to Communities Program 

January 9, 2019 in Communities Author: Diana McKeown

Headshot of Kristoffer Acuña

I’m pleased to welcome Kristoffer Acuña to the GPI team as a program assistant with the Metro Clean Energy Resource Team (Metro CERT). In this position, Kris will work on the Cities Charging Ahead! project, which aims to help Minnesota cities increase understanding of and make progress toward electric vehicle readiness. Kris will also assist with additional projects for GPI’s work as part of the Metro CERT and other projects that are part of our Communities Program. 

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