e21 Forum: Collaborative Projects

Event Date

8/26/2019 8:00:00 AM

Event Location

The Woman's Club of Minneapolis
410 Oak Grove St
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Event Details

The e21 initiative invites you to a discussion with Minnesota-based energy leaders who took part in Rocky Mountain Institute’s 2019 eLab Accelerator. From decarbonizing natural gas to advancing battery storage deployment, these teams will present on the problems that they are trying to solve, their progress, and their next steps. Learn about these four teams and their strides to advance a 21st-century energy system in Minnesota. Teams and topic areas include: Decarbonizing Minnesota’s Natural Gas End-Uses GridMod Squad Great River Energy Comprehensive Planning Battery Storage Game Plan.

Minnesota organizations that participated in the eLab Accelerator include: Great Plains Institute, Great River Energy, Fresh Energy, Connexus, University of Minnesota Energy Transition Lab, Citizen Utility Board, Vote Solar, National Rural Electric Association, E-Central Energy, Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

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More about the topic areas that will be discussed

Decarbonizing Minnesota's Natural Gas End-Uses:
While the electrification of heating in concert with a decarbonizing electric grid offers benefits for customers and opportunities for emissions reductions, natural gas utilities are exploring innovative business models with the potential to offer their own opportunities. This team's goal is to find a common understanding of where different technologies may be most appropriate and develop a vision of the portfolio of solutions required to decarbonize end uses currently served by natural gas.

GridMod Squad:
Given the nature of the modernization, few regulatory stakeholders are equipped to assess whether a proposed distribution system plan investment will effectively meet the stated objectives. The GridMod Squad seeks to formulate a vision for effective grid modernization and distribution planning that optimizes the deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs), enables grid decarbonization, and increases resilience. The team will develop stakeholder guidance and a GridMod evaluation framework that regulatory stakeholders can use to evaluate grid modernization proposals.

Great River Energy Comprehensive Planning:
In preparation for its next integrated resource plan, which is due on April 2021, Great River Energy’s (GRE) team explored questions relating to new capacity expansion model and implications for upcoming modeling and integrated resource planning processes. This team's goal was to establish a foundation which will allow energy efficiency, demand response, electrification, and other demand-side resources to be optimally accounted for in GRE’s integrated resource planning process.

Battery Storage Game Plan:
Battery energy storage has the potential to unlock cost-effective, flexible solutions to transform the electric grid and energy supply. This team, co-led by two member-owned cooperative electric utilities from Minnesota and Colorado, aims to assess use cases for energy storage technologies, with an eye towards applicability for electric cooperatives. This team plans to develop a battery storage game plan that can facilitate the commercialization “breakout” of the technology in the Colorado and Minnesota markets, for distribution and behind the meter-sited use cases.

For more information on these teams and other e-Lab Accelerator projects, please refer to the Rocky Mountain Institute website.

The e21 Initiative is co-convened by the Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment, both Minneapolis, MN based nonprofits focused on solutions in the energy sector that strengthen the economy while improving the environment. Learn more at e21initiative.org.