Policy Analyst – Electric Grid Program

Great Plains Institute

Location: Minneapolis
Reports to: Senior Policy Manager & Research Director
Position Type: Full time
Compensation: Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include a Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 401(k) retirement plan, paid time off, and communication stipend


As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, the Great Plains Institute (GPI) works with diverse interests to transform the energy system to benefit the economy and the environment. Through research and analysis, consensus policy development, technology acceleration, and local action we are leading the transition to clean, efficient, and secure energy. Our work spans focus areas including: carbon management, electricity and efficiency, communities, and transportation and fuels.

GPI is building on a 20-year track record of brokering novel energy solutions among disparate interests and catalyzing the deployment of the most promising clean energy technologies and practices. We value a pragmatic approach, consensus building, dialogue, and long-term relationships with the people and institutions that have the ability to help transform our energy system.

GPI has a fast-paced entrepreneurial culture in which people enjoy both great freedom and great responsibility. People who thrive in this culture take personal responsibility for seeing what needs doing and getting it done. They are self-starters, problem-solvers, and quick to help others. They work hard because they believe in the mission and get to spend most of their time at the intersection of what they love to do and are good at. It’s a working environment in which performance is judged more on results than on time spent in a particular chair. We aspire to make this the best job anyone has ever had.


The Electric Grid Program focuses on decarbonization of the electric system through modernization of the utility business models and acceleration of transmission and other infrastructure to support clean energy deployment in the Midwest and across the United States. We work with diverse groups of stakeholders including utilities, state regulators, regional grid operators, technology firms, and other policy groups to identify and develop areas of consensus and accelerate implementation of decarbonization solutions.

THIS POSITION: Policy Analyst

The Policy Analyst will assist with the execution of the Electric Grid Team’s work by conducting original qualitative and quantitative research to inform the work of both GPI staff and our stakeholders. The primary function of this role will be to work with the Senior Policy Manager to track and understand transmission planning and wholesale electricity market processes at the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO). MISO and its member utilities plan and operate the transmission grid and accompanying wholesale electric market for a 15-state region across the Midcontinent United States and Canada. The market rules and processes developed here are used in state-level utility planning processes. As such, our work at MISO helps shape the regulatory landscape in the region governing what types of energy resources utilities build and how they are used.

The Policy Analyst will support this work (approx. 75-80% time) through collection and analysis of publicly available wholesale market data from MISO and other data sources including large datasets, attendance and participation in MISO stakeholder meetings, and engagement with GPI staff and external stakeholders in tandem with the Senior Policy Manager. The Policy Analyst will also work with GPI’s Research Director to support GPI’s other ongoing research efforts on an ongoing, as appropriate basis (approx. 20-25% time).

POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES:  The ideal candidate will work in partnership with the supervisor to lead and develop research and analysis aspects of GPI’s Electric Grid Program. The specific duties and responsibilities of this position include:

  • Contributing to the development and execution of a research agenda for the Electric Grid Team including data collection, qualitative and quantitative analysis, management of research project timelines and deliverables, and development of research reports and blog posts;
  • Shaping the development of MISO initiatives to accomplish program objectives by supporting GPI’s participation in MISO’s stakeholder process including active participation in MISO’s stakeholder committees via both virtual and in-person meeting participation (potential for up to 15% travel);
  • Assisting coordination of partner organizations in the MISO stakeholder process, including the development and dissemination of monthly agenda for MISO Environmental Sector calls;
  • Contributing to fundraising, including writing grant proposals and ensuring the program’s narrative and financial reports are submitted to funders on time and are updated in GPI’s internal databases;
  • Contributing to the development of the program as opportunities shift and funder interest evolves.


The Policy Analyst will report primarily to the Senior Policy Manager with frequent collaboration and reporting to GPI’s Research Director.


  • Commitment to the mission and goals of the Great Plains Institute;
  • Bachelor’s degree in a technical field (engineering, economics, computer science, etc.), preferred;
  • 0-2 years of work experience required;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in qualitative and quantitative research methods required;
  • Well-developed written, analytical, oral communication, and organizational skills;
  • Experience with analytical and/or computer programming software packages such as Javascript, SQL, Visual Studio/C#, Python, geographic information systems (GIS), etc. is a plus;
  • Able to work with a wide-range of people with diverse experiences and views, including views different from your own;
  • Spirit of teamwork and flexibility to assist colleagues with occasional additional tasks as required in a relatively small organization with multiple programs.


$40,000 – $50,000, based upon experience


Desktop computer and/or laptop, copier, fax machine, calculator, printer, telephone


Requires working at a desk (either sitting or standing) for extended periods. Extensive use of devices (e.g., keyboard, mouse), as well as usage of telephone/headset. May require lifting of boxes up to 20 pounds on occasion. 


Position will begin approximately June 15, 2019


Send your application materials including a one-page cover letter, writing sample and resume, with the subject line: “Policy Analyst – [your surname]” to careers@gpisd.net.   A single PDF of all materials is preferred.  Deadline for application is 9 AM Central Time, May 24, 2019.


The Great Plains Institute (GPI) is a tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation based in Minneapolis, MN, and dedicated to transforming the energy system to benefit the economy and environment. We specialize in using consensus-based strategies to solve our energy and environmental challenges. Through research and analysis, consensus policy development, technology acceleration, and local action, we are leading the transition to clean, efficient, and secure energy:  www.betterenergy.org.

The Great Plains Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes a wide diversity of applicants.