The NASEO Rural Energy Working Group meets on a quarterly basis in the form of educational webinars and forums; depending on the topic, these engagements may be open to all NASEO members or by invitation only. These meetings provide an opportunity for peer-sharing and information exchange by bringing in expert speakers from the private sector, federal government, and rural communities to share insights.

Through the Rural Energy Working Group, State Energy Officials can explore fellow state approaches to rural energy access and clean energy deployment; identify opportunities and impediments (technical and non-technical); identify and express state priorities and interests; inform policy, planning, programs, and regulation; consider unregulated and member-driven electric sector investments and implications; and advance road map and pilot options.

Upcoming Webinars

  • July 17, 2024, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. ET: NASEO Rural Energy Working Group Meeting (States, Territories, and Affiliates Only) – This month, the NASEO Rural Energy Working Group will relaunch with its first quarterly meeting of 2024. Attendees will learn more about the objectives and mission of the Working Group and hear directly from several states on relevant partnerships and funding available from the federal government to advance rural energy priorities and support communities. The Rural Energy Working Group addresses key issues impacting energy use on rural lands and agricultural operations. Key focus areas include options for renewable energy development on rural lands, efficient energy and water use in agricultural operations, and geographic equity in developing energy efficiency programming. Please reach out to Jasmine Xie ( if you would like to participate.

Past Webinars and Events:

  • May 7, 2024, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET: NASEO-NARUC Microgrids State Working Group Webinar: Improving Energy Resilience with Rural and Remote Microgrids – The NASEO-NARUC Microgrids State Working Group and NASEO Rural Working Group convened a webinar on microgrids in rural and remote areas. Microgrids are an important avenue for improving resilience, reliability, and decarbonization in rural and remote communities and states are key leaders in facilitating RD&D of those projects. This webinar featured presentations on state initiatives, coordination with rural electric cooperatives and rural and remote communities, and specific projects under development.

  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET: NASEO Rural Energy Working Group Webinar: Agrivoltaics - The Benefits and Potential of Dual Use Solar on Agricultural Lands Agrivoltaics (solar generation systems co-located on farmland) avoid disruptive land use, help productive agricultural land remain operational while preserving the natural environment, and allow farmers and ranchers to diversify their income. Several states are exploring the ability of agrivoltaics to simultaneously support food production, land conservation, and energy production, and incentives, programs, and policies that can accelerate research and construction of agrivoltaics. This webinar featured presentations from Jordan Macknick of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Grace Fletcher of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and Samantha Levy of the American Farmland Trust on some of these activities and provide an opportunity for states to better understand the technology and what role it can play in their agricultural communities. Preceding the webinar, NASEO held a states-only meeting of the Rural Working Group from 1:30 - 2:00 pm ET to discuss the webinar topic in more detail, along with doing a round robin of state rural energy topic priorities.
  • August 15, 2023, 3:00 – 4:00 pm ET: NASEO Rural Energy Working Group Webinar: Carbon Sequestration in the Agricultural Sector: Challenges and Opportunities – Farmers and ranchers have an opportunity to manage sector wide and nationwide greenhouse gas emissions through soil carbon sequestration. States, the federal government, and the private sector are advancing soil carbon sequestration through incentives, technical assistance, and data collection, which presents an economic development opportunity for rural areas and agricultural stakeholders. This webinar provided information on the process for carbon sequestration in soil, the benefits and challenges, and practitioner perspectives from experts at the Iowa State University, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the Western Sustainability Exchange. Following the webinar, NASEO held a states-only meeting of the Rural Working Group from 4:00 – 4:30 pm ET to discuss the webinar topic in more detail along with other rural priorities. 
  • June 8, 2023: NASEO Rural Energy Working Group Webinar: State Energy Office Approaches to the Energy-Agriculture Nexus – The intersection between the energy and agriculture sectors is being explored across the country as states look for opportunities to support clean energy, lower costs, and increase resilience along the agricultural value chain. Farmers and ranchers can leverage funding opportunities (e.g., programs through the U.S. Department of Agriculture) to deploy such strategies as agricultural facility and equipment energy efficiency improvements, energy and water efficient growing and harvesting technologies, soil-based carbon sequestration, and clean energy deployment. This webinar featured presentations from Abigail Hasenfus of the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and Kari Heinrich of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission Office of Energy Innovation that discussed programs that engage rural and agricultural communities, along with success stories and challenges.
  • June 15, 2023: NASEO Webinar: Fostering Economic Diversification in Coal Communities - State and local governments are exploring a variety of pathways to foster economic diversification in coal communities across the country through just transition roadmaps, state-local task forces, and targeted grant and workforce training programs. These efforts and partnerships will help identify and provide alternative revenue streams to local communities and support the transition to a more decarbonized economy. During this webinar, speakers shared insights and resources on successes and challenges in identifying economic diversification opportunities on the state, local, and federal level.