Author

Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

Frank Jossi, Energy News Network

Frank Jossi is an independent journalist and consultant based in St. Paul and a longtime contributor to Midwest Energy News. His articles have appeared in more than 50 publications, including Minnesota Monthly, Wired and the Los Angeles Times. Frank has been a Fulbright journalism teacher in Pakistan and Albania, and a program director of the World Press Institute at Macalester College.

State, federal funding fuels expansion of Minnesota microgrid research center

By: - September 20, 2023

A Minnesota college’s microgrid research center is preparing to expand after securing significant new state and federal funding. The University of St. Thomas’ Center for Microgrid Research plans to triple its three-person staff and enroll more students thanks to money from a $7.5 million state legislative appropriation and $11 million in federal defense bill earmarks […]

Minnesota program helps manufacturers train their teams for an all-electric future

By: - September 18, 2023

Bloomington-based Thermo King has for decades manufactured diesel-powered refrigeration and heating units for use in semi-trailers, trains, ships and buses. The company’s logo can be seen on ubiquitous “reefer” trailers being pulled along highways across the country. As Thermo King has begun a massive transition to electrify its product lines, training employees has been a […]

Minnesota electric co-ops seek $970M in federal clean energy funds

By: - August 16, 2023

A consortium of Minnesota electric cooperatives is preparing to apply for $970 million in federal funding that could help propel rural utilities toward the state’s 100% clean electricity target. The state’s largest generation and transmission cooperative, Great River Energy, convened the group, which so far includes more than half of its members. The utilities are […]

Minnesota community solar projects are about to get bigger and more far-flung

By: - July 13, 2023

Minnesota community solar developers will be able to build bigger projects, farther from subscribers, under a recent law aimed at reinvigorating the state’s shared solar program and making sure more lower-income customers are able to participate. State lawmakers this spring approved several changes to the state’s decade-old community solar law, which lets Xcel Energy customers […]

Minnesota will use $3M IRA grant to expand outreach on climate action plan

By: - July 10, 2023

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plans to use a federal grant to help make sure the state’s climate strategies will benefit lower-income communities. The Climate Pollution Reduction Grants program is a $5 billion federal program under the Inflation Reduction Act. It provides states and metro areas with funding to draft, update or evaluate climate action […]

In Minnesota, ‘smart panels’ seen as a possible alternative to expensive electrical upgrades

By: - April 10, 2023

Heat pumps, induction stoves and other electric devices are increasingly seen as key to a clean energy future. And most new homes have electric service robust enough to handle them. But older homes were not designed for big electrical loads, and millions will require updates before those new appliances can be safely plugged in. In […]

Why Minnesota’s push to electrify government vehicles is going slower than expected

By: - April 6, 2023

A lack of inventory from auto manufacturers and a shortage of fast-charging options in rural areas are among the factors slowing progress toward Minnesota’s state government fleet electrification goal. The Minnesota Department of Administration set a target in 2020 to make 20% of its vehicle fleet electric by 2027, part of an overall strategy to […]

Minnesota agency retools to ‘meet the moment’ on climate, clean energy

By: - April 3, 2023

A state agency with a leading role in Minnesota’s clean energy transition is reorganizing to help the state implement its new 100% clean energy law and capitalize on a coming flood of federal spending. The Minnesota Department of Commerce recently announced changes to its energy division, including the high-profile hire of a former U.S. Senate […]

A hidden challenge for Minneapolis climate goals: shoddy insulation

By: - March 6, 2023

About two-thirds of homes being listed for sale in Minneapolis have inadequate insulation, according to a review of energy disclosure reports. Since January 2020, Minneapolis has required homeowners to disclose the results of a recent energy audit before selling a property. Since then, the city has collected publicly accessible data on more than 16,000 residential […]

Minnesota power co-op wants to invest in flexibility for fossil fuel peaker plant

By: - February 10, 2023

Minnesota’s largest electricity cooperative wants the option to burn diesel fuel oil at a central Minnesota peaker plant as a hedge against volatile natural gas prices. Great River Energy is seeking approval from Minnesota regulators to install fuel oil equipment at its 170-megawatt Cambridge peaker plant, which now burns only natural gas. The generation and […]

Gas utility’s Minnesota hydrogen pilot ‘good news’ so far, but questions remain

By: - January 31, 2023

A Minnesota gas utility says it is successfully blending “green” hydrogen into its natural gas pipeline system in one of the first such tests in the country. Since last summer, CenterPoint Energy customers near downtown Minneapolis have been burning a bit of hydrogen alongside the usual mix of methane gas in their stoves and furnaces. […]

While fighting clean car rules, Minnesota dealers gear up for an all-electric future

By: - January 12, 2023

Despite continuing a lawsuit over the state’s clean car standards, the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association recently hired an electric vehicle program director. The organization believes it is the first dealer association in the country to add a staff member assigned explicitly to electric vehicle issues. Its vice president of public affairs, Amber Backhaus, said the […]