Managed Electric Vehicle Charging Benefits Tested in Solar Synchronization Pilot

March 3, 2020 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Maggie Kristian

An electric vehicle charger outside the Greenway building in Minneapolis, MNManaged electric vehicle charging can have benefits for two different groups—the demand side (the electric vehicle owner, the building owner, the power customer) and the supply side (the whole electric grid system). This blog looks at the benefits of managed electric vehicle charging and how it works in practice, using 2019 examples from the Greenway Building (GPI’s headquarters) where charging levels are synchronized with on-site solar production. Continue reading »

2020 Minnesota Legislative Session Preview: Electric Vehicles

January 18, 2020 in Transportation & Fuels Author: Brendan Jordan

A view of the Minnesota State Capitol in the evening

The 2020 Minnesota legislative session is right around the corner, and Drive Electric Minnesota is ready to continue supporting a policy and regulatory landscape that drives electric vehicle (EV) adoption and infrastructure. With that, I want to share a 2020 Minnesota legislative preview for Drive Electric Minnesota’s policy and regulatory positions and some quick thoughts about how accomplishments in 2019 set the stage for this year. Continue reading »

Pilot Project Gets Solar Panels in Sync with Electric Vehicle Chargers

January 9, 2020 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Maggie Kristian

What if we could harness the energy produced by the sun and maximize its potential to power electric vehicles (EVs) with zero-carbon electricity? That’s exactly what GPI has been working on in a pilot project that studies how managed EV charging can pull varying levels of power from the solar panels on our rooftop based on how much solar is being produced at a given time. This ability to use “solar synchronization” could have big implications for reducing carbon emissions in both the electricity and transportation sectors, and presents potential benefits for consumers and businesses alike. Continue reading »

Analysis: Rooftop Solar Can Provide Year-Round Electricity—Even in the Bold North

December 19, 2019 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Authors: Dane McFarlane, Elizabeth Abramson

Solar panels on the roof of a Minneapolis building in winter

When it comes to solar energy, a common question is how electricity generation will be affected by seasonal shifts or daily changes in the weather. These variations become especially important when households and businesses consider using rooftop solar panels to serve their electricity needs, such as for charging electric vehicles (EVs). By analyzing a full year of data collected from the solar array on the Great Plains Institute’s own rooftop, paired with the electric vehicle chargers at our building, we have gathered insights to answer to this question.  
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New Data Shows Minnesotans Going All-In on Electric Vehicles

December 18, 2019 in Transportation & Fuels Authors: Elizabeth Abramson, Jessi Wyatt

A blue electric vehicle, charging.

Electric vehicle (EV) deployment is ramping up across Minnesota. New data from 2019 (which you can explore in a previous blog post) shows that EV deployment hit new records throughout the state. Between 2018 and 2019 alone, the number of EV registrations in Minnesota has almost doubled. With declining vehicle costs, expanding EV infrastructure, and growing consumer preference for climate-friendly products, EV growth in Minnesota shows no signs of slowing down. The statewide EV map further helps spotlight that EVs are not only a phenomenon in urban areas. In fact, there is only one county of the 87 in the state that does not have at least one EV registered.
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Approval of Xcel Energy’s Electric Vehicle Pilots Highlights Key Considerations for Electric Utilities

December 12, 2019 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Trevor Drake

 An electric vehicle plug

Following a stakeholder engagement process facilitated by the Great Plains Institute in 2018, Xcel Energy received approval and is moving forward in Minnesota with new electric vehicle (EV) pilot programs.  

As investor-owned electric utilities seek to meet the needs of shareholders, consumers, and the environment, EVs offer a unique opportunity. If implemented carefully, utility investments in EV infrastructure and programs can provide a series of benefits, including new sources of utility revenue, better services for EV drivers, reduced costs for all consumers by making the electric system more efficient, and reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading »