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 »

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 »

Visualizing Pathways to Decarbonization of the Midcontinent’s Electricity Sector

September 25, 2018 in Electricity, Reports & Whitepapers Author: Dane McFarlane

Transmission Line

The Great Plains Institute recently released A Road Map to Decarbonization in the Midcontinent Electricity Sector as part of its work with the Midcontinent Power Sector Collaborative, a diverse group of stakeholders including investor-owned utilities, merchant power companies, electric cooperatives, environmental groups, and state regulators.

The road map is the first-of-its-kind for any region in the US and was developed by the collaborative to provide utilities, policy makers, and stakeholders with a better sense of what will be needed to inform sound near-term decisions that position the region to meet the challenges ahead.

Continue reading »