The Midwest boasts tremendous wind potential, a burgeoning biofuels industry, vast coal reserves with extensive geological formations for storing carbon and mature oil reserves that can expand production with enhanced oil recovery. It also has a strong manufacturing sector to produce infrastructure and components for the renewable energy industry. This provides Midwestern states with an enormous potential for energy savings through more efficient technologies and practices.

The MGA supports current efforts in Grid Security and Modernization and electric transmission, as well as previous efforts in transportation fuels, energy efficiency and productivity, and CCS. Much of the region’s work has been through collaboration of diverse stakeholder groups to achieve practical, workable solutions. A list of organizations that have been involved in these processes can be found here. To read their feedback on the MGA process, click here.

In order to highlight the region’s robust biofuels industry, as well as the opportunities to increase industrial energy productivity, the MGA released the following video:

The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) built on the Grid Security and Modernization project from 2016-2017. The goal of the phase 2 of this effort was to help states better understand the issues surrounding the fast-changing nature of the electric sector including pressures on the existing business utility model as more distributed generation and customer choice impact the traditional model. 

Through a series of in-person meetings and webinars, the MGA drew on the best thinking and practices from across the country-including throughout the Midwest-to inform state regulatory and policy discussions on the future of the electric grid. In addition, the MGA worked to identify the issues Midwestern states need more attention under the broad umbrella of grid security and modernization, in an effort to tackle these issues before there is an immediate need.

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Starting in 2011, the MGA has hosted an annual electricity transmission meeting to continue the steady progress the region has made in planning for the transmission needs of the future. Midwestern governors have been actively engaged in this process to ensure collaboration and progress among the many regional stakeholders. Over the years, the MGA has focused on different areas of interest at the annual event.

The Midwestern Governors Association (MGA) started its Grid Security and Modernization project in 2016 and included efforts to provide Midwestern states and others with a deep dive on the below areas. For each topic, the MGA hosted a series of webinars, followed by an in-person meeting. For more information about each series, click on the below links: 

A variety of biomass to energy opportunities exist throughout the Midwest, with feedstocks ranging from energy crops to food waste to manure. Many of these biomass resources are currently not fully developed or utilized and state-led programming or incentives can help grow the industry.  Biomass can be converted to electricity and/or heat, used as a source of renewable natural gas, or provide a variety of vehicle fuels. A strong bioenergy market could result in local economic development as well as provide a range of potential environmental benefits.

The MGA is working with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, to develop the Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop (RAPID) Toolkit.  The purpose of the Toolkit is to provide energy developers and stakeholders an efficient means of accessing permit and regulatory information regarding bulk transmission and renewable energy.  This in turn will lead to reduced time and costs, encouraging further investment in energy projects.  More information can be found at

Advanced Transportation Fuels

When Henry Ford released the Model T, he revolutionized the transportation sector. The first mass-produced automobile was powered by ethanol. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognizes the Midwest as the leading producer of ethanol, with Midwestern states making it into the top 12 corn ethanol producers list.  A recent USDA report predicts the central-eastern region, which closely resembles the MGA region, will produce more than 40 percent of the advanced biofuels goals of the nation. The Midwest can fuel the entire country, with our region’s abundant natural resources. The nation has long been dependent on overseas oil to provide the mobility that the American economy is built upon. Now, our region is at the point of providing domestically grown, cultivated and produced fuel sources to keep the nation’s transportation system moving. Midwestern innovation has led to a burgeoning biofuels industry, both conventional and next-generation. As a region, the Midwest can power its transportation system through electric cars, hydrogen in fuel cells, biofuels, natural gas and biogas and domestic oil using enhanced oil recovery.To realize these goals, the MGA has convened a group of Midwestern leaders to work on ensuring that our region’s biofuels remain competitive with other sources of energy. In Februrary 2012, the MGA released this group’s recommendations, available here.