CEE Statement: Sullivan Appointed MN Deputy Commissioner of Energy & Telecommunications

Feb 1, 2019

Today, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Steve Kelley appointed Joseph Sullivan to serve as the state's Deputy Commissioner of Energy and Telecommunications. Sullivan comes to the role after working the past four years at the Center for Energy and Environment, where he most recently served as Manager of Legislative and External Affairs.

In response to the appointment, CEE’s president Chris Duffrin issued this statement:

The Center for Energy and Environment offers sincere congratulations to our colleague Joe Sullivan on his appointment as Minnesota's Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Energy Resources at the Department of Commerce. Joe's history of work with policymakers, regulators, utilities, energy advocates, and others to advance energy efficiency and clean energy will continue to serve Minnesota well.
Given Joe's full career path, this statewide leadership role seems a natural fit. Before joining our team, Joe worked with Wind on the Wires to advance policies for transmission access and wind power across the upper Midwest. As an attorney before that, he represented Greater Minnesota cities and the municipal power agency Missouri River Energy Services — focusing on renewable energy, transmission issues, state conservation goals, greenhouse gas reduction initiatives, net metering, and community-based energy development. Among Joe's extensive work with coalitions, his efforts on utility tax issues with the Coalition of Utility Cities stand out as exemplary.

Specific to CEE, Joe has led our efforts to raise awareness among policy makers of the tremendous benefits that efficiency provides to energy utilities and their customers. In 2015, he initiated what have become ongoing "CIP tour" events to spotlight the local value of Minnesota's Conservation Improvement Program, hometown by hometown. This nation-leading innovation brings legislators together with businesses in their own districts who have benefited from energy efficiency upgrades, and with local contractors whose livelihoods rely on such projects.

Joe also guided CEE's analysis to determine when large power plants throughout Minnesota will likely be retired. In establishing that timeline, he has underscored the state's significant clean energy opportunity to completely transform our electric supply. And to ease the transition, Joe emphasizes the hard work we'll need to do in communities where retiring plants are located and with our growing energy workforce statewide.

Joe Sullivan's career has put a steady focus on practical strategies and a personal touch to serve very human needs. I am pleased the field experience he gained at CEE will continue to serve Minnesotans through this important new role. I applaud Commissioner Kelley for his wise selection, and look forward to the positive impact Joe will continue to have on our state's evolving energy system and the people who depend on it.

We look forward to working closely with Commissioner Kelley and his excellent team on continuing the progress to a healthy, low-carbon economy for all Minnesotans.
The Deputy Commissioner of Energy and Telecommunications for the Minnesota Department of Commerce develops and manages programs and policies for the State Energy Office, Energy Planning and Advocacy, Energy Facility Permitting, Energy Assistance, and Telecommunications. The role also oversees the state’s regulated utilities and makes recommendations on rate hike requests.

Sullivan will take over the Deputy Commissioner role in early February.

About CEE

Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back nearly 40 years. CEE provides a range of practical and cost-effective energy solutions for homes, businesses, and communities to strengthen the economy while improving the environment.

Media contact

Tim Hanrahan, 612-244-2419, thanrahan@mncee.org

Related links

Release: MN Commerce Dept announces Energy Division deputy & ass't commissioners (Feb 2019)
Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources