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.

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 […]

Guaranteed savings contract helps Minnesota college finance efficiency

By: - December 22, 2021

One of Minnesota’s oldest state universities will undergo a major energy savings retrofit next year without tapping into any public funding. Winona State University, founded as a teachers’ college in 1858, is set to benefit from $12.3 million worth of upgrades to its southeastern Minnesota campus. School officials could have spent years trying to persuade […]

Minnesota’s first solar-storage project nears completion in Grand Rapids

By: - November 17, 2021

This story first appeared in Energy News Network. After six years of debate, northern Minnesota’s first solar energy and battery storage project may soon reach completion in Grand Rapids. The $6 million project by Grand Rapids Public Utilities combines a 2-megawatt solar array with a 1-megawatt, 2.5-hour lithium-ion energy storage battery in a project built […]

Why a Koch-owned refinery is joining Minnesota’s solar industry trade group

By: - October 26, 2021

This article first appeared on Energy News Network and is republished here under a Creative Commons license. The latest dues-paying member of Minnesota’s solar energy industry trade group is also one of the state’s largest greenhouse gas polluters. Flint Hills Resources, a Koch Industries subsidiary that owns the sprawling Pine Bend Refinery south of St. […]

Minnesota solar installer bankruptcies leave unfinished projects, calls for better oversight

By: - October 11, 2021

Minnesota solar industry leaders are working with state officials to tighten oversight of residential solar contractors after the bankruptcy of a Utah-based company left dozens of homeowners with unfinished projects. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry reached an agreement last week with the trustee of Empire Solar Group LLC, a national solar installer that […]