Workshop Announced! Powering the Plains and Beyond: Energy Policy in America’s Heartland

November 12, 2017 in Electricity Author: Jill Rook

The Great Plains Institute is excited to announce a one-day workshop to be held in Austin, Texas on December 11, 2017. “Powering the Plains and Beyond: Energy Policy in America’s Heartland” will bring together experts, state officials, and stakeholders from across the Plains and beyond to explore energy developments and trends in the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) region. Continue reading »

Analysis: The Effect of Growing Wind Energy on Midwestern Electricity Prices Over the Past 8 Years

September 19, 2017 in Electricity Author: Steve Dahlke

A recently released GPI report looks at the extent to which growth in wind energy has reduced electricity prices in the Midwestern market. In conjunction with the Colorado School of Mines, GPI undertook a comprehensive empirical investigation and found a significant decrease in electricity prices attributed to wind energy in the Midcontinent ISO (MISO) market. Continue reading »

Your Life Runs on It — and It Needs an Upgrade

July 26, 2017 in Electricity Author: Rolf Nordstrom

You might think this is about food, love, or coffee. Nope, this is about electricity. It’s hard to name something you’ll do today that doesn’t require it, and yet we mostly take it for granted, unless you lose power or your cell phone dies. Pause for a minute to consider that without electricity we would not have computers, TVs, microwaves, refrigeration, skyscrapers (no elevators), medicines that require refrigeration, and a very long list of other features of modern life. In short, electricity just might be the most important product you never think of. Continue reading »

e21 Forum Convenes Stakeholders to Explore Consumer-Centric Rates and Performance-Based Compensation

July 12, 2017 in Electricity Authors: Sophia Krohn, Trevor Drake

Industry and Projects

On Friday July 14th, over 50 people convened in St. Paul to learn about and discuss innovations towards a more customer-centric regulatory framework and utility business model for the 21stcentury. The event was the second of several e21 Forums in 2017, which are convened by the Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment and designed to provide an opportunity for interested parties in Minnesota to hear about and discuss important issues facing the electric sector. Below is a recap of the event along with links to slides and resources. Continue reading »

Why Large Competitive Electricity Markets Benefit Wind Energy

April 22, 2017 in Electricity Author: Steve Dahlke

On April 1, 2005, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) launched a wholesale energy market and began centrally dispatching power generation throughout the central United States. One result from this market reform was the reduction of wind energy curtailments. In fact, our recent analysis indicates wind capacity factors on the MISO system increased about 5-7% after the market launch. For a large 100 MW wind plant, a 5-7% increase is equivalent to about an extra $2 million in revenue per year at typical prices. Continue reading »

MISO Energy Storage Market Reforms Possible with Utility Complaint to FERC

February 8, 2017 in Electricity Author: Matt Prorok

*This is an update of a post that was originally published in December*

On October 21, 2016, Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL), an Indianapolis based, vertically integrated utility, filed a formal complaint with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act over what it perceives as the mistreatment of its Harding Street Station Battery Energy Storage System (HSS BESS) (Docket EL17-8). Essentially, IPL’s complaint boils down to three “asks,” with plenty of details surrounding timing, ongoing proceedings, and stakeholder input left for FERC to figure out. Continue reading »

How Duluth’s New Mapping Tool Helps Predict Solar Energy Potential

February 8, 2017 in Electricity Authors: Brian Ross, Dane McFarlane

The City of Duluth, Minnesota recently launched a new web-based solar energy mapping tool for its residents and businesses that will help lower the barriers to solar development in the city. The app, called “Duluth Shines,” helps users evaluate their rooftop’s solar potential and estimate the size and cost of a solar installation. The tool is generating new interest in solar opportunities and has received coverage in local and regional news. Continue reading »