Based on the findings of the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) stakeholder engagement process, Commerce prepared the Final CHP Action Plan as a deliverable for a Department of Energy (DOE) grant.
The purpose of the Action Plan is to summarize the key findings of Commerce’s CHP work, and to synthesize these findings to inform clear and achievable recommendations that could help lead to potential CHP implementation in Minnesota.
Final CHP Action Plan Summary Recommendations
I CHP Evaluation Methodology and Criteria
Establish CHP Energy Savings Attribution Model and Project Evaluation Criteria
II Mapping CHP Opportunities
Map CHP Opportunities at Wastewater Treatment Facilities and Public Facilities
III Education and Training Opportunities
Expand Education and Training Resources on Commerce's Website
IV CHP Ownership Programs and Solutions
Leverage Existing Financing Programs Applicable to CHP
V CIP CHP Supply Side Investments
Examine Electric Utility Infrastructure Policy
VI Standby Rates
Continue Discussion through PUC's Generic Proceeding
Commerce also has M&V Protocols for Large Custom CIP Projects that apply to all individual custom CIP projects with estimated annual savings greater than 1,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity or 20,000 thousand cubic feet (MCF) of natural gas qualify for formal M&V under this document.
Please contact Adam Zoet for any questions about calculating and claiming CIP energy savings from CHP projects.
Midwest Department of Energy CHP Technical Assistance Partnership (Midwest CHP TAP)
The Midwest CHP TAP offers unbiased, fuel-neutral and technology-neutral resources and expertise to help industrial, commercial, federal, institutional, and other large energy users consider and evaluate CHP for their facilities. The Midwest CHP TAP assists facilities through the project development process, from initial CHP screening to project installation. Please contact Cliff Haefke or Graeme Miller for more information.
Midwest CHP TAP Project Development Process
Screening and Preliminary Analysis → Feasibility Analysis →Investment Grade Analysis →Procurement, Operations and Maintenance Commissioning
CHP Screenings at Minnesota Wastewater Treatment Plants
Commerce completed a Department of Energy State Energy Program award that assessed energy efficiency opportunities at Minnesota wastewater facilities, and worked with the Midwest CHP TAP to perform CHP screening assessments at wastewater plants. The team’s technical energy efficiency assessments identified a total of 5.5 million kWh annual energy savings opportunity with an estimated value of $423,000.
Electric Utility Infrastructure (EUI) efficiency is defined in Minnesota state statute (216B.1636) as projects owned by an electric utility that:
replace or modify existing electric utility infrastructure, including utility-owned buildings, if the replacement or modification is shown to conserve energy or use energy more efficiently, consistent with section 216B.241, subdivision 1c; or
conserve energy or use energy more efficiently by using waste heat recovery converted into electricity as defined in section 216B.241, subdivision 1, paragraph (o).
There is significant potential to increase utility infrastructure efficiency by decreasing conversion losses, improving plant operations, and mitigating transmission and distribution losses throughout Minnesota’s electric grid.
Commerce, GDS Associates, and Center for Energy and Environment completed a study that examined the potential for EUI efficiency projects; that is, utility-owned projects that improve the overall generation, transmission, and distribution efficiency of the electric system. To learn more about this study, please visit the project website.
In March 2018, parties came to an agreement after months of negotiations with Xcel and stakeholders on restructuring Xcel’s standby tariff according to industry best practices. In addition, Commerce and other parties have worked with Minnesota Power and Otter Tail Power to revise their standby rates, and will continue to work with Dakota Electric, as needed, on improving their rate structure.
This effort builds on a number of stakeholder workshops and studies initiated by the Department since 2011 to facilitate stakeholder understanding of best practices, areas of agreement, and key differences in perspective for Standby rates. Workshop presentations, stakeholder comments are available on Commerce’s website at: