Electrification and climate resilience in the rural north

rural northern community

This project will evaluate the barriers and opportunities to electrification of heating and cooling services in rural northern areas of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. This evaluation will comprise three community case studies to understand the unique features of post-extractivist and Tribal Nation communities in this region. The project team will use project results to compare energy justice outcomes across alternative pathways for the provision of resilient heating and cooling services and the expansion of new renewable energy and energy storage on rural lands required for electrification.

Project Summary


  • Explore the resilience of heating and cooling services provided by electricity.
  • Evaluate the development of renewable energy and energy storage on rural lands.


  • Conduct surveys, coordinate a project advisory board, and hold annual community meetings for three community case studies.
  • Complete literature reviews to create regional projections, incorporating future climate migration and renewable energy growth.
  • Model building performance to explore the resilience of future heating and cooling service provision and create a new aggregate electricity demand model for the region.

Non-energy benefits

  • Create a new geospatial tool to visualize alternative electrification pathways.
  • Demonstrate a method of transition to electrification that is extendable to other cold-climate and rural regions.