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.

More Midwest banks see opportunity to finance solar, energy efficiency projects

By: - August 16, 2022

Smaller, regional banks and credit unions are increasingly looking to help homeowners finance solar installations in a sign of growing recognition of the opportunities in clean energy finance. In the Midwest, Iowa-based Decorah Bank & Trust is among the latest to begin marketing loans for solar and other clean energy projects. The community bank recently […]

From suburbs to small towns, more Minnesota cities taking climate action

By: - July 14, 2022

Nearly a decade after Minneapolis passed the state’s first climate action plan, more than a dozen Minnesota cities have followed suit in creating local blueprints for reducing carbon emissions and preparing urban environments for more extreme weather events. From tiny Grand Marais on the North Shore to Twin Cities suburbs, cities are using climate action […]

St. Paul school is latest in Minnesota to conclude geothermal is ‘the way to go’

By: - June 22, 2022

A St. Paul high school expects to reduce its natural gas use by more than half with the installation of a ground-source geothermal heat pump system. When completed this summer, the $18.8 million project at Johnson High School will join just a handful of similar systems at Minnesota K-12 schools. COVID-19 and climate change are […]

Minnesota solar manufacturer says importing parts is still risky despite tariff pause

By: - June 21, 2022

The federal government’s decision to pause tariffs on solar panels from four Asian countries amid a trade dispute investigation has not resolved uncertainty for Minnesota’s only solar manufacturer. The Ontario-based solar module manufacturer Heliene operates a plant in the northern Minnesota city of Mountain Iron. Like almost all U.S. solar manufacturers, it relies on components […]

Xcel Energy time-of-use rate pilot shows only slight impact on peak demand

By: - June 1, 2022

An Xcel Energy pilot program is slightly shaving electricity use during peak hours but not producing meaningful savings on most customers’ bills. The Minnesota utility launched a residential time-of-use “flex pricing” pilot program in November 2020 in two Twin Cities neighborhoods, one urban and one suburban. Nearly 17,000 customers participate either in the pilot or […]

After rough start, electric buses are back on the road in Minneapolis-St. Paul

By: - April 12, 2022

A year after idling its first electric buses because of reliability problems, the transit agency serving Minneapolis and St. Paul has put the vehicles back on the road and released a plan to begin electrifying more of its bus fleet. Metro Transit’s Zero-Emission Bus Transition Plan was submitted to the Legislature in February. It calls […]

Minnesota bill aims to close a gap on funding for ‘pre-weatherization’ work

By: - April 4, 2022

A lack of state funding to help Minnesota homeowners clean up mold, asbestos and other hazards is limiting the reach of federal weatherization programs in the state, preventing some of those most in need from accessing benefits. Nearly half of homeowners who seek help from federal weatherization programs in the state are denied because the […]

Minnesota cities want permission to move faster than state on energy codes

By: - March 28, 2022

Minnesota’s approach to updating state building energy codes is too slow given the urgency of the climate crisis, according to a coalition of cities and clean energy advocates pressing for swifter change. Some of the state’s largest cities and suburbs are seeking permission from the Legislature to adopt model national energy codes for larger commercial […]

Minnesota regulators want Xcel to cut wait time for connecting solar to its grid

By: - February 22, 2022

Minnesota utility regulators want the state’s largest power company to pick up the pace on connecting small solar projects to its grid. Xcel Energy’s interconnection process has emerged as a bottleneck in the state’s clean energy transition, with some home and business owners having to wait months or years to connect solar panels to the […]

Colleges see untapped potential in geothermal district energy systems

By: - February 7, 2022

A small but growing list of U.S. colleges and universities are dusting off a centuries-old technology to help meet their ambitious climate goals. Carleton College, a small, private liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, is the latest to trade fossil-fueled steam heat for geothermal district energy as it aims to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by […]

A Minnesota co-op credits clean energy transition for stabilizing wholesale rates

By: - January 27, 2022

A decade-long shift from coal to wind power is helping to stabilize rates for Minnesota’s largest generation and transmission cooperative. Great River Energy isn’t alone among consumer-owned utilities forgoing rate increases for 2022, but the power wholesaler is unique in the region for crediting its clean energy transition for leveling off its prices. “Wholesale rate […]

Xcel’s long-range plan faces pushback over role of fossil peaking plants

By: - January 21, 2022

Xcel Energy’s proposal to potentially build two new natural gas peaking plants has become a key point of contention in the utility’s long-term resource plan currently before Minnesota utility regulators. The two natural gas combustion turbine plants are part of Xcel’s integrated resource plan, a document utilities must submit every few years to the Minnesota […]