Governors Midwest Initiatives Events



Chair's Agenda
America's Smartland Series


Economic Development


Renewing the Midwestern Brand





Grid Modernization: Integrating Solar Energy

Solar is evolving quickly in Midwestern states, with regulators and policy-makers taking different approaches to fostering or integrating solar development. Distributed solar and utility-scale solar are both elements of the modern grid, but with substantially different markets, distinct risks and opportunities, and technological synergies. 

The MGA hosted a series focusing on the Midwest’s solar opportunities, benefits of different types of solar deployment, the market and policy landscape, and lessons learned that can be applied to future electric system innovations.


March 15-16, 2017

St. Paul, Minnesota


Attendee List

Speaker Bios

Speaker Handouts

Andrew Boatright

Joe Sullivan

Mike Taylor

Michael Vickerman


October 25, 2016: Introductory Webinar

Solar energy is not one energy technology but rather many technologies that deliver different types of benefits and present different challenges to the electric system and markets. This webinar allows for participant input for the other webinar topics.


November 15, 2016: Solar 101

This webinar lays out solar basics including different market niches of utility scale solar PV, rooftop solar PV, community solar, and solar thermal; costs and benefits associated with each and the role of solar in grid modernization. 

Brian Ross, GPI

Bryan Hannegan, NREL

December 6, 2016: Consumer Perspectives

Business and residential customers can have very different perspectives on solar energy and customer demands are changing quickly.  Some businesses are including access to solar and other renewable energy in their siting decision-making, or investigating resiliency benefits of on-site solar plus storage. 

Nick Hylla, MREA

Lisa Jacobson, BCSE

January 10, 2017: Economic & Workforce Development Opportunities

The webinar will explore options for states to take advantage of a new and growing market—solar

manufacturing and installation—accompanied by workforce development opportunities and challenges. 

Roxie Brown, The Solar Foundation

Pari Kasotia, The Solar Foundation

February 7, 2017State Policy Options

Different policies incent or discourage different types of solar development, and different types of solar development present significantly different value propositions that affect grid modernization priorities and design.  Policy makers and commissions have taken different approaches with different results.