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Engaging Communities on Utility-Scale Wind & Solar Development in the Midwest: Part II, Local Considerations

October 7, 2019 in Communities, Electricity Authors: Jenna Greene, Jessi Wyatt

The lowering cost of wind and solar energy generation has a local impact: communities are going to see more wind and solar development projects, more often. Communities see many of the direct impacts from these developments, from tax revenues to opportunities for co-beneficial land uses to managing resident feedback on such development. Many local considerations and indicators can help communities understand opportunities for maximizing local co-benefits as the market continues to increase for utility-scale solar and wind development. Continue reading »

Q&A: Home Efficiency Upgrades Bring Savings & Unexpected Benefits

October 2, 2019 in Efficiency Author: Lola Schoenrich

Improving the energy efficiency of your home is a win-win-win. It makes your living space more comfortable, saves you money, and is good for the environment. Leading analysis shows that energy efficiency can significantly reduce energy use and is a critical tool for reaching emissions reduction targets. In the US, the residential and commercial sectors account for about 30 percent of energy use (which represents almost all of energy use in buildings), with the residential sector accounting for about 16 percent of that total. Continue reading »

GPI Testifies Before US House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis

September 26, 2019 in Carbon Management Author: Gail Nosek

Brad Crabtree testifies to Congress on Carbon Capture

Carbon capture is a pillar of the Great Plains Institute’s (GPI’s) work. Our carbon management team is focused on realizing the full potential of this suite of technologies as a national energy security, economic, and environmental strategy. To achieve mid-century decarbonization goals, carbon capture projects and infrastructure must be built at a large scale, and in an accelerated timeframe. Continue reading »

Minnesota Department of Transportation Releases Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation Report

September 18, 2019 in News & Press, Transportation & Fuels Author: Gail Nosek

A new report from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) shows routes to a lower-carbon future for the largest greenhouse gas emitting sector in the state. The Pathways to Decarbonizing Transportation report was created through public input and modeling and outlines recommendations and next steps toward reducing emissions. Continue reading »

Approval of a Wisconsin Transmission Project Marks a Major Milestone for Clean Energy in the Midwest

September 11, 2019 in Electricity Authors: Matt Prorok, Rolf Nordstrom

In 2007, a bipartisan group of seven governors announced ground-breaking energy and climate agreements that would go on to shape the region’s energy system. Over a decade later, Wisconsin regulators recently approved the capstone transmission project, the last in a set of 17 “multi-value transmission projects” (MVPs) across the region representing $6.5 billion in investment that grew out of those original agreementsThe MVP portfolio’s 17 projects will enable over 16 GW of wind generation to come online, delivering 52 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy throughout the MISO footprint through 2031. Put another way, without these lines, over 60 percent of the renewable energy needed to meet the region’s renewables goals through 2031 would have been curtailed.  Continue reading »

e21 Forum Highlights Four Areas of Energy Innovation Across Minnesota

September 10, 2019 in Electricity Author: Trevor Drake

Minnesota energy stakeholders came together at the end of August to learn about four areas of innovation happening across the state’s energy system. The event was put on by the e21 Initiative, a collaborative effort between the Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment that convenes diverse stakeholder groups to help shape and advance a decarbonized, customer-centric, and technologically modern energy system in Minnesota.

Continue reading »

New Resources to Help Cities Add Electric Fleet Vehicles and Charging Infrastructure

September 10, 2019 in Communities, Transportation & Fuels Author: Diana McKeown

During 2018-1928 Minnesota cities worked together in regional cohorts through the Cities Charging Ahead! (CCA) project to learn and act together to become “electric vehicle (EV) ready communities.” These cities increased their knowledge significantly and made strides toward their goals to foster EV adoption in their communities. CCA, which was led by the Great Plains Institute and Clean Energy Resource Teams, officially wrapped up in June but the cities have expressed an interest in continuing to meet periodically in their regional cohorts. To build on this interest and the knowledge gained through CCA, we’ve developed resources that are now available for other cities to learn from.  Continue reading »

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