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Together: Collaborative, Multi-Sector Efforts Drive Progress on Clean Energy

June 10, 2020 in Together Author: Morgan Zehner

This blog is one in a series of stories celebrating the wide-variety of professionals who have been touched by the Great Plains Institute (GPI). Together – GPI’s spring 2020 fundraising campaign – showcases people who work in multiple industries and have various constituents and customers, but all play an important role in helping America transform its energy system. Continue reading »

Performance-Based Regulation in Minnesota: A Decade of Progress

June 9, 2020 in Electricity Author: Trevor Drake

Performance-based regulation for electric utilities is gaining increased attention across the US. States like Hawaii and New York are already testing new models to align utility performance with public policy goals. Minnesota took a slow and steady approach to performance-based regulation, building a foundation over a decade to ensure that changes to utility regulation are in the public interest and avoid unintended consequences. The development of performance-based regulation in Minnesota continues to garner national attention and was recently the subject of a Smart Electric Power Alliance case study in their three-part best practices toolkit series on the same topic. Continue reading »

Together: Putting American Land to Work to Meet Climate Goals

May 28, 2020 in Together, Transportation & Fuels Author: Morgan Zehner

Corn Field

This blog is one in a series of stories celebrating the wide-variety of professionals who have been touched by the Great Plains Institute (GPI). Together – GPI’s spring 2020 fundraising campaign – showcases people who work in multiple industries and have various constituents and customers, but all play an important role in helping America transform its energy system. Continue reading »

Pilot Project Studies Managed Electric Vehicle Charging in a Workplace Setting

May 27, 2020 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Maggie Kristian

An electric vehicle charging at the greenway buildingThe Great Plains Institute’s pilot project to study managed electric vehicle (EV) charging with on-site solar generation shows how a solar-synchronized EV charging system can function throughout the year—even in wintry Minnesota—and meet the needs of EV drivers at a workplace. This post describes the impacts of the solar-synchronized system on EVs at GPI’s headquarters in Minneapolis. The pilot project findings provide data that can contribute to discussions about building managed charging infrastructure, grid impacts, and factors to consider for future system designs.   Continue reading »

Iowa Solar Toolkit

May 22, 2020 in Communities, Reports & Whitepapers Author: Brian Ross

Planning, Zoning, and Permitting

As part of Solar Ready Iowa, toolkits have been assembled to equip local governments in Iowa with information regarding solar development as it relates to planning, zoning, and permitting. The toolkits were created in 2016, then model ordinances are being updated in 2020 to reflect new best practices and lessons learned since 2016. Minnesota and Iowa are updated and Illinois and Wisconsin are in process, with ordinance for Indiana and Michigan under development. The purpose of these toolkits is to provide resources that will assist communities in addressing barriers to solar energy installations in a manner tailored to each community’s needs. The following is a summary of materials that can be found in each of the toolkits. Continue reading »

Minnesota Solar Toolkit

May 22, 2020 in Communities, Reports & Whitepapers Author: Brian Ross

As part of the Grow Solar Partnership, toolkits have been assembled to equip local governments in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois with information regarding solar development as it relates to planning, zoning, and permitting. The toolkits were created in 2016, then model ordinances are being updated in 2020 to reflect new best practices and lessons learned since 2016. Minnesota and Iowa are updated and Illinois and Wisconsin are in process, with ordinance for Indiana and Michigan under development. The purpose of these toolkits is to provide resources that will assist communities in addressing barriers to solar energy installations in a manner tailored to each community’s needs.
Continue reading »

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