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Reducing Transportation Emissions Through Better Zoning

June 19, 2019 in Transportation & Fuels Authors: Brian Ross, Clairece Cooke

Local governments across the nation are leading on solutions to address climate change that will bring major benefits to their communities, from cleaner air to saving money on energy bills. Over 400 mayors in the US signed accords to meet the Paris climate goals, and hundreds of American cities have taken the next steps of establishing carbon emission benchmarks, setting carbon reduction or carbon neutrality goals, and creating climate action or energy plans on how to achieve their local goals. Continue reading »

Cities Go to Boot Camp to Overcome Barriers to Renewable Energy Adoption

June 18, 2019 in Communities, Electricity Author: Gail Nosek


When it comes to communities taking action to accelerate sustainability, the peer cohort model is proven to be successful time and time again because it allows people to learn together and learn from each other. To 
build on that success, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) and the Clean Energy Resources Teams (CERTs) are creating a network of Minnesota cities focused on identifying and overcoming barriers to renewable energy procurement.
Continue reading »

Value of Utility-Owned Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Highlighted in DTE Rate Case

June 13, 2019 in Efficiency Author: Jamie Scripps

The Michigan Public Service Commission recently approved DTE Energy’s request to develop a 34 MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant on the campus of Ford Motor Company’s Research and Engineering Center.¹ This project highlights how ownership of CHP facilities can be a valuable option in a utility’s resource planning and can bring economic and environmental benefits for the utility and its customers over the long term. Due to their size, high efficiency, and grid benefits, utility-owned CHP projects likely offer a better deal to ratepayers than the construction of traditional central power stations.   Continue reading »

Why the Announcement of the World’s Largest Direct Air Capture Project is a Big Deal

June 12, 2019 in Carbon Management Author: Jennifer Christensen

Direct air capture (DAC) technology generates a mix of excitement, skepticism, and optimism as first-mover projects come online, from Iceland to the US. The technology captures carbon dioxide (CO2) from ambient air, which is then used to create products of economic value or stored geologically, thereby removing CO2 from the atmosphere.  Continue reading »

Legislative Outcome on Electric Vehicles in Minnesota—Going Forward by Not Going Backward

June 11, 2019 in Transportation & Fuels Author: Brendan Jordan

We communicated a great deal about electric vehicle (EV) bills in the Minnesota legislature this year given their potential to shape the trajectory of EV adoption in the state. Some of the proposals would have increased EV adoption and infrastructure while others would have put up barriers. Minnesota’s legislature officially adjourned on May 20 and then completed its work in a short special session a few days later. So, what happened on EVs?  Continue reading »

Electrifying the Family Road Trip

June 10, 2019 in Electricity, Transportation & Fuels Author: Gail Nosek

The American Automobile Association (AAA) expects 100 million Americans and more than 50 percent of families to pack up the car for a road trip this summer (even more than last year). 

In Minnesota, the popular trip ‘Up North’ to Lake Superior is the first to go fully electric with the Interstate 35 corridor now boasting enough chargers to power any electric vehicle (EV) from the Twin Cities to Duluth. Historic Highway 61, made famous by Bob Dylan’s acoustics, is also now electrified with chargers located near popular recreational and historic stops.  Continue reading »

Combined Heat and Power’s (CHP) Reliability Recognized in Recent Actions by Midwestern Regulators and Utilities

June 3, 2019 in Efficiency, Electricity Author: Jamie Scripps

Recent regulatory decisions in Michigan and other Midwestern states indicate a growing recognition of combined heat and power (CHP) facilities’ demonstrated reliability. The decisions impact the rates and fees charged to CHP systems due to their potential need for standby service (i.e., backup service) and are important steps toward increasefinancial viability of CHP facilities in the region. As other states look to encourage CHP facilities, these recent actions can provide examples of aligning rates and fees more closely to actual CHP performance.  Continue reading »

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