e21 Phase II Report

December 7, 2016 in Electricity, Reports & Whitepapers

The e21 Initiative developed its phase I report on a consensus basis; the ideas and recommendations in in the report were intended as a cohesive package to be taken together and supported as a whole by the e21 stakeholders. Consensus did not mean that each participant is equally enthusiastic about every idea, and, importantly, consensus did not require participants to give up their right to object to future implementation details. Continue reading »

Greenway Office Building in Minneapolis Adds Solar Electric System Using PACE Financing

November 7, 2016 in Communities, Electricity Author: Diana McKeown

*This post originally appeared on the Clean Energy Resource Teams website here. To learn more about Metro CERT, please visit GPI’s Metro CERT project page here.*

Built in 1999, the Greenway Office Building (GPI is a key building tenant) includes solar PV, geothermal heating and cooling, and a green roof. Constructed to many of the design points of LEED (Leadership Energy Efficient Design) this ENERGY STAR building hosts many nonprofit and for-profit tenants working toward better housing and a more energy independent future. Wellington Management recently utilized PACE financing to replace the building’s aging solar PV array. Continue reading »

New Transmission to Expand Midwestern Wind Power

October 26, 2016 in Electricity Authors: Dane McFarlane, Matt Prorok

Wind Turbine

Note: This blog post contains three interactive maps and may take a moment to load

A set of new electric transmission lines, developed with the help of the Great Plains Institute, is under construction to connect more Midwestern wind power to large cities in the east. The Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), which operates the electric grid in the Midwest, has been moving forward with the Multi-Value Project (MVP) portfolio since 2011. Continue reading »

Midwestern Governor’s Association 6th Transmission Summit Draws Engaged Crowd

October 13, 2016 in Electricity Author: Matt Prorok

On October 5th and 6th, the Midwestern Governor’s Association, with assistance from the Great Plains Institute, convened its sixth transmission summit in Columbus, OH. This year’s meeting focused on modernizing the electric grid, and the emerging technologies and regulatory hurdles that accompany an industry in transition.  Information is available at the Midwestern Governors Association website. Continue reading »

Stakeholder-Driven Process Results in Minnesota Energy Action Plan

September 26, 2016 in Electricity Author: Amanda Bilek

October is National Energy Action Month and the MN Department of Commerce will be hosting a webinar to provide an overview of Minnesota’s 2025 Energy Action Plan.

The MN 2025 Energy Action Plan lays out a path for Minnesota to help advance a clean, reliable, resilient, and affordable energy system. The Plan contains strategies, technologies, and opportunities that can be advanced to strengthen Minnesota’s clean energy leadership. Continue reading »

Transmission Done Right in the Upper Midwest

June 1, 2016 in Electricity Author: Matt Prorok

Power Lines

In April 2016, the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs released a report, Transmission Planning and CapX2020; Building Trust to Build Regional Transmission¹, detailing the monumental effort a coalition of eleven Midwestern utilities² undertook from 2004-2012 to design, site, and build 800 miles of new high-voltage transmission lines worth over $2 billion across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The CapX2020 project was as much a feat in cooperation and coordination as it was in transmission capacity expansion. Continue reading »

Trevor and Abby Chat Solar Gardens

March 16, 2016 in Communities, Electricity Authors: Abby Finis, Trevor Drake

Solar Garden

In 2013, the State of Minnesota enacted 216B.1641 Community Solar Garden, which established the Xcel Energy Community Solar Garden Program. This program brought a lot of excitement to the Minnesota solar industry, leading to an influx of solar developers and long queue of solar garden applications. Because the program is new and has generated a lot of interest, there have been a few bumps along the way. Continue reading »