About the Study

The electric power industry is the largest single user of electric power, higher than any other industry, consuming an estimated 12% – 15% of the nation’s electricity production. Losses occur from plant auxiliary loads, transmission and distribution, and substation consumption.

This study will examine the potential for Electric Utility Infrastructure (EUI)/supply-side efficiency projects; that is, utility-owned projects that improve the overall generation, transmission, and distribution efficiency of the electric system. This study will also explore and make policy recommendations as part of a stakeholder engagement process. 

Comprehensive Approach

Project partners will work with stakeholders to help quantify the potential for improving efficiency and reducing carbon emissions through EUI improvements in Minnesota. Researchers will examine the potential to increase efficiency by decreasing conversion losses, improving plant operations, and mitigating transmission and distribution losses throughout Minnesota’s electric grid.

EUI efficiency studies are an emerging field, so the team will have to draw on all stakeholders to ensure useful, accurate results. Because of the atypical nature of the project, adjustments to the studies methodology may be necessary as the research progresses. The team will work to engage stakeholders with an emphasis on coordinating with other ongoing projects.

This project is funded by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources, through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program, and is also supported through a State Energy Program Competitive Award through the U.S. Department of Energy. This supply-side study is being conducted alongside another CARD funded potential study looking at energy saving potential on the demand-side. Together these studies will help Minnesota consumers and businesses save energy, cut energy bills, and reduce air pollution. They are intended to maximize energy efficiency in homes, commercial buildings, power companies, farms, new construction, and much more.

GDS Associates (GDS) is the lead researcher for this study. 

Study milestones

Advisory Committee members selected (May 2017)
Project Kickoff Webinar: Minnesota Energy Efficiency & Carbon Saving Potential Studies (Apr 2017)
News: MN energy efficiency potential studies seek Advisory Committee members (Apr 2017)
News: Identifying MN potential for energy efficiency on demand and supply sides (Mar 2017)