The Better Energy Community is constantly growing and evolving.

Read about our latest projects and successes on our blog.

45Q Tax Credit Implementation Update: IRS Releases Long-Anticipated Guidance, but Questions Remain

March 6, 2020 in Carbon Management Author: Patrice Lahlum

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released two pieces of guidance relating to the implementation of the reformed 45Q tax credit, relating to requirements defining beginning and continuous construction requirements for projects and a revenue procedure that establishes rules for business partnerships claiming the tax credit. Clarity and financial certainty on 45Q tax credit implementation is vital for carbon capture projects which­­ have a narrow window of time to begin before the credit’s January 1, 2024 deadline for beginning of construction.­­ Continue reading »

Electric Sector Emissions: How Geographic Choices Impact Modeling & Analysis

March 4, 2020 in Electricity Authors: Jessi Wyatt, Maggie Kristian

In our work on modeling and projections of electric sector greenhouse gas emissions, GPI often sees analysts using federally published electricity generation and emissions data defined by large geographic electricity regions rather than by an individual state or a specific electric utility. While using these large regions is convenient in terms of data availability, it can miss key differences in electric sector emissions that are available at more granular geographic regions. Continue reading »

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 »

Northfield Climate Action Plan Puts City on Path to Reach Ambitious Targets

February 26, 2020 in Communities Authors: Abby Finis, Jenna Greene

In November 2019, the City of Northfield joined several other Minnesota communities in adopting the Northfield Climate Action Plan. Northfield’s efforts are an excellent example of a small city setting ambitious climate goals and planning for long-term resilience. Action on climate at all scales, from small to large cities, is critical to achieving state, national, and global carbon reduction targets. Continue reading »

Capital City Commits to Climate Action with New Plan

February 11, 2020 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

Saint Paul Climate Action and Resilience Plan post photo of Saint Paul skyline

The last agenda item at the final city council meeting of the decade in Saint Paul, Minnesota was the adoption of the Saint Paul Climate Action and Resilience Plan. After more than 30 residents stood in line to publicly share their support for the plan for Minnesota’s capital city, the council unanimously voted to adopt it. It was a momentous and triumphant moment and there is much for the city to be proud of. Continue reading »

Stakeholders Provide Guidance as Xcel Energy Looks at 50 Percent Increase in Demand Response

February 6, 2020 in Electricity Author: Trevor Drake

Smart thermostat pictured for blog on Xcel Energy’s demand response programs

Xcel Energy explored increasing its demand response portfolio by 50 percent with Minnesota stakeholders from 2017-2019. The results highlight considerations for utilities looking to deploy larger portfolios of advanced demand response. This blog, the first in a three-part series, shares demand response design principles and filing objectives developed by stakeholders to inform Xcel Energy’s planning for new demand response programs. Continue reading »

Climate Action Work Plans Can Provide Cities More Accessible, Near-Term Strategies

February 5, 2020 in Communities Author: Abby Finis

St. Paul in fall

I am excited to share that my colleagues and I have developed a new approach for cities to achieve their energy and climate goals more quickly and affordably: climate action work plans. These work plans are intended to support cities in setting near-term targets by creating an implementation schedule with specific steps for completing high-impact actions. Continue reading »

Climate & Energy Planning Takes Shape in Minnesota Communities

January 22, 2020 in Communities Author: Jessi Wyatt

A view of St. Paul in evening

Cities increasingly understand their role in addressing climate change, and some are finding ways to use a traditional tool—comprehensive planning—as part of their climate and energy planning efforts. In Minnesota, a recent inventory of actions at the local level shows how a broad range of communities are incorporating climate, energy, resilience, and sustainability in their planning processes. This blog digs into GPI’s analysis and findings from this inventory, explores motivators for the change, and highlights the next steps for communities interested in local climate and energy planning. 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 »

Our Newsletter

Sign Up for Better Energy Community News

Sign up to receive the latest news and announcements from the Great Plains Institute.