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.

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 […]

Solar coalition wants to put equity front and center in Xcel’s Minnesota rate case

By: - December 5, 2022

As Minnesota regulators weigh a proposed 21% electricity rate increase by Xcel Energy, a new voice is at the table. The Just Solar Coalition is an alliance of solar developers, community organizers, environmental groups, faith leaders and others who share an interest in expanding access to clean energy and its economic benefits. The coalition formed […]

Minnesota solar installers say it still takes too long to connect to Xcel’s grid

By: - November 16, 2022

The process for connecting solar arrays to Xcel Energy’s grid continues to frustrate installers in Minnesota despite recent changes meant to reduce delays. “I’m still hearing about it from our members a lot,” Logan O’Grady, executive director of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association, said of the wait times companies face before interconnection approvals. “It’s […]

Minnesota utility wants to expand work on community microgrids

By: - October 21, 2022

As climate change threatens more grid disruptions, businesses and nonprofits are seeking backup systems that can provide power during outages. This year Xcel Energy has been installing community resiliency systems with three microgrids at Minneapolis nonprofits that allow them to generate and store electricity. Now Xcel has asked regulators for permission to own and operate […]

Gas station owners, charging companies oppose Xcel Energy’s electric vehicle charging plan

By: - September 28, 2022

A coalition of retailers and charging station companies is objecting to a proposal by Xcel Energy to install hundreds of high-speed public charging stations across its Minnesota territory. Xcel Energy asked state regulators last month for permission to spend $170 million on a rapid expansion of charging infrastructure to help the state meet its goal […]

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 […]