Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification


Better Energy. Better World.

aka Great Plains Institute

Minneapolis, MN


As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, the mission of the Great Plains Institute (GPI) is to transform the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. GPI combines a unique consensus-building approach, expert knowledge, research and analysis, and local action to create and implement solutions across the U.S. By bringing the right people to the table, finding the best technologies, and stimulating the necessary markets, we can:

- increase energy efficiency and productivity
- decarbonize electricity production
- electrify the economy and otherwise adopt zero- and low-carbon fuels
- capture carbon for beneficial use and permanent storage

Ruling Year


President & CEO

Mr. Rolf Nordstrom

Main Address

2801 21st Ave S Ste 220

Minneapolis, MN 55407 USA


Energy, Policy, Midwest, National, Renewable, Climate, Electricity, Resilience, Wind, Solar, Biomass, Bioeconomy, Efficiency, Biogas, Renewable Energy, Carbon Capture, CCUS, EV, Electric Vehicles, Decarbonization, Energy Efficiency, Nonpartisan, Non-Partisan, Zero-Carbon, Transportation, Biochemicals





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

Research Institutes and/or Public Policy Analysis (C05)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015.
Register now

Social Media


Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

The US is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world, contributing to a rising global temperature that could have major consequences on the economic security, health, and safety of the population. Tr The window to meet decarbonization goals by midcentury and avoid those consequences is rapidly closing. Decarbonization will require forging unlikely alliances to find & implement durable solutions that benefit the environment & economy. Because of often disparate interests & viewpoints, it can be challenging to bring together stakeholders across sectors: business & industry, government, academia, labor, & nonprofits. Consensus-building is one of our signature areas of expertise and we've had great success at the local, regional, & national levels. We continue to grow our coalitions, broker agreements, & implement solutions. The technology & resources we need to accomplish a total transformation of the energy system are within our grasp. We just need to do more, faster.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Carbon Management




Transportation & Fuels

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

The Great Plains Institute’s mission is to transform the energy system to benefit the economy and the environment. GPI’s goals for transforming the energy system are to: •increase energy efficiency and productivity •decarbonize electricity production •electrify the economy and adopt zero- and low-carbon fuels •capture carbon for beneficial use and permanent storage To achieve its bold mission, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) works on solutions that strengthen communities and provide greater economic opportunity through creation of higher paying jobs, expansion of the nation’s industrial base, and greater domestic energy independence while eliminating carbon emissions.

At GPI, we: •Bring the right people together. We convene the people & organizations who can shape our energy future •Spur investment & economic development. We identify & pursue solutions that yield economic benefits, increase jobs, & investment in communities •Engage diverse communities. We conduct outreach & engagement activities with communities that have an interest in and are affected by the transformation of the energy system •Forge strategic partnerships. We develop strategic partnerships to achieve the speed & scale of energy transformation needed •Impact policy & regulation. We develop & advocate for better energy policies, regulations, & practices •Shape markets and technology. We advocate for incentives & policies to spur commercial deployment of the most promising zero- and low-carbon technologies •Support action. We provide key actors with resources & technical assistance to plan for & develop efficient, zero- and low-carbon energy policies, practices, & infrastructure

In its 20-year history, the Great Plains Institute has built a reputation for bringing together three skills that are rarely found in one organization: •nationally-recognized energy policy and technology expertise •nuanced understanding of commercial, local, and political realities •well-honed facilitation, consensus-building, and advocacy We convene partners across political, economic, geographic, and cultural lines to broker and implement solutions that no one group may have developed alone, but which all can support. Among the tactics GPI employs to achieve our mission are: •technical assistance •research and analysis •communications and education •facilitation •advocacy

When we are successful, the Great Plains Institute’s work leads to: • new low-carbon energy policies passed into law • better regulations and practices adopted • replicable policies, programs, or approaches established • cleaner technology demonstrated and brought closer to market • more accurate price signals and robust markets for low-carbon technologies • increased jobs and economic benefits • healthier, more resilient communities • conditions created that lead to GHG reduction • strong, influential stakeholder and partner relationships

GPI has achieved much in our 20-year history, but there is still much to be done in order to meet decarbonization goals by 2050. Everything we need to transform the energy system is within our grasp: clean & low-carbon technologies, huge price declines, and growing consumer demand. Now we just need to do more, faster. Below are some examples of recent GPI’s success: •Ushered through landmark bipartisan carbon capture legislation passed by Congress •Developed the road map to decarbonization in the Midcontinent’s electricity sector •Selected as one of only nine teams in the US to be part of the Solar Energy Innovation Network •Grew state and national networks to help cities achieve energy and other sustainability goals •Positioned Minnesota as a world leader in the bioeconomy •Increased readiness for solar investment and development in the Midwest •Brought together multi-stakeholder regional initiative devoted to transportation electrification in the Midcontinent

External Reviews



Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?