About the e21 Initiative

“e21” stands for “an electric system for the 21st century.” Since its inception in 2014, the e21 Initiative has sought to advance a decarbonized, customer-centric, and technologically modern electric system in Minnesota by ensuring that utility business models are aligned with the public interest. e21 works by convening diverse groups of stakeholders to foster learning, collaboration, and problem-solving around complex regulatory proceedings and utility proposals. In addition, the e21 Initiative seeks to keep Minnesota on the national and global forefront of energy innovations that contribute to the common good.

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. However, e21 has always been and continues to be shaped by the stakeholders who are actively involved in advancing Minnesota’s electric system, including utilities, regulators and other state government agencies, consumer advocates, environmental advocates, local governments, academic organizations, energy technology companies, and other businesses.

e21 has been implemented across three distinct phases:


e21 Process Timeline Graphic


Phase I: Consensus for Change

In its first phase (February to December 2014), a group of roughly 30 stakeholders developed consensus recommendations for Minnesota to evolve toward a more consumer-centric, performance-based regulatory approach and utility business model. See Phase I Report here →

Phase II: Implementation Plans

e21’s second phase (January 2015 to December 2016) convened a similar group of roughly 35 stakeholders to add additional details to the Phase I recommendations by publishing a set of white papers on performance-based compensation, integrated systems planning, and grid modernization. See white papers here →

Phase III: Ideas to Action

e21’s third and current phase (January 2017 to present) is focused on convening many different groups of stakeholders to shape and accelerate progress on a wide variety of specific proceedings, filings, and topics relevant to modernizing Minnesota’s electric system, including the following:

  • Integrated Systems Planning:

For more information on current e21 activities, please check out our blog.

NOTE: While e21 is convened by both the Great Plains Institute and Center for Energy and Environment, in some cases meetings are convened solely by GPI, with CEE acting as a stakeholder.

e21 Forums

Since its inception, e21 has provided an opportunity for mutual learning and facilitated discussion among key stakeholders involved in Minnesota’s energy regulatory system for electricity. Now, e21 is opening up that opportunity for learning and discussion to all interested parties through public e21 Forums. These events happen several times each year to accomplish the following objectives:

  • Learn from national and local experts on issues relevant to Minnesota’s changing electric sector and support proactive discussions on those issues
  • Hear about and provide feedback on innovative pilot projects happening in Minnesota, with the aim of improving them before they come before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission
  • Continue to build the network of individuals and organizations interested in supporting and implementing a 21st century electric system in Minnesota.
Interested in attending an upcoming e21 Forum? Sign up for the e21 Newsletter →

Check Out Past Forums

Our Conveners

Great Plains Institute

A nonpartisan, nonprofit, Great Plains Institute is transforming the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. For the last 20 years, the institute has worked on energy solutions that strengthen our communities, grow the economy, and improve lives while reducing emissions.

More information on the Great Plains Institute is available at www.betterenergy.org

Center for Energy and Environment

Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back nearly 40 years. CEE provides a range of practical and cost-effective energy solutions for homes, businesses, and communities to strengthen the economy while improving the environment.

More information on the Center for Energy and Environment is available at www.mncee.org