Electrifying the Family Road Trip

June 10, 2019 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Gail Nosek

The American Automobile Association (AAA) expects 100 million Americans and more than 50 percent of families to pack up the car for a road trip this summer (even more than last year). 

In Minnesota, the popular trip ‘Up North’ to Lake Superior is the first to go fully electric with the Interstate 35 corridor now boasting enough chargers to power any electric vehicle (EV) from the Twin Cities to Duluth. Historic Highway 61, made famous by Bob Dylan’s acoustics, is also now electrified with chargers located near popular recreational and historic stops.  Continue reading »

Combined Heat and Power’s (CHP) Reliability Recognized in Recent Actions by Midwestern Regulators and Utilities

June 3, 2019 in Efficiency, Electricity Author: Jamie Scripps

Recent regulatory decisions in Michigan and other Midwestern states indicate a growing recognition of combined heat and power (CHP) facilities’ demonstrated reliability. The decisions impact the rates and fees charged to CHP systems due to their potential need for standby service (i.e., backup service) and are important steps toward increasefinancial viability of CHP facilities in the region. As other states look to encourage CHP facilities, these recent actions can provide examples of aligning rates and fees more closely to actual CHP performance.  Continue reading »

e21 Forum Focuses on Integrated Systems Planning for a Decarbonized Electric System in Minnesota

March 4, 2019 in Electricity Authors: Jordana Palmer, Trevor Drake

Power LinesBeginning in 2019, Minnesota’s three investor-owned utilities will file resource plans that will chart a path into a time period of significant change and opportunity. With nearly all the state’s power sector COemissions coming from fossil-fuel plants that are retiring or potentially retiring in the next 20 years, the state has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a transformation towards decarbonized electricity generation. Continue reading »

How the 2019 Polar Vortex Helped Long-Term Renewable Energy Integration in the Midwest

March 1, 2019 in Electricity Author: Matt Prorok

At the end of January, the polar vortex brought bitter cold temperatures to the Upper Midwest of the United States. Some parts of northern Minnesota hit -45°F temperatures with wind chills down to -65°F. The record-setting low temperatures and frigid wind chills posed a safety and reliability threat to the region’s people and infrastructure alike. Continue reading »

GPI 20th Anniversary Leadership Interview Series: Vice President Doug Scott, Electricity and Efficiency

February 12, 2019 in Efficiency, Electricity 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 »