Energy efficiency has been a key component of Minnesota’s strategy to achieve statewide energy and economic development goals. The potential of CHP systems to help further Minnesota’s energy objectives has been studied and strategic goals developed to further the use of CHP in Minnesota’s energy efficiency initiatives. In 2013, the U.S. DOE, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy provided SEP funding to the Minnesota Department of Commerce (Commerce), Division of Energy Resources (DER) for a project designed to plan, coordinate, and execute a stakeholder engagement process that results in a guide to help policy makers, utilities, industries, and trade allies make informed decisions that lead to greater CHP implementation in Minnesota.
The purpose of this case study is to provide an overview of the Minnesota CHP Action Plan that was developed through a strategic stakeholder process managed by Commerce. 1 While the particular CHP opportunities and impediments identified and explored in the Minnesota CHP Action Plan will be useful for many states, this paper emphasizes the processes and approaches pursued by Minnesota to gather and disseminate up-to-date information about CHP. Lessons and best practices discerned from the Minnesota experience of stakeholder engagement, CHP Action Plan development, and communications and outreach are broadly applicable across the states. The processes and approaches used by Minnesota can inform other states wishing to develop CHP and broader energy action plans and roadmaps that are tailored to their own particular contexts, including their own economic, policy, administrative, and utility regulatory environments.