Case Study: Cook County Local Energy Project Strategic Planning


Challenge: The Cook County Local Energy Project (CCLEP) is a nonprofit dedicated to empower residents, businesses, and government through collaboration and education increasing sustainable energy practices in Cook County, Minnesota. Its vision is to make Cook County the rural model for net zero energy. With just one staff member and a wide array of potential initiatives on its radar, CCLEP sought a strategic plan to guide its work. 

Role: Northspan facilitated a strategic planning process that included surveys of both the CCLEP board and the general public. Using this information, it drafted a practical vision for the strategic planning process, underlying contradictions that held the organization back, and strategic directions to guide its work. Northspan then facilitated a one-day workshop with CCLEP to create a vision and mission, review and update the drafted strategic plan elements, and establish prioritized actions across a three-year timeline to implement the new plan. The four strategic directions included: 

  1. Establishing core focus & sustainable funding 
  2. Increasing education & marketing
  3. Broadening community partnerships 
  4. Strengthening board member engagement 

Results: The CCLEP board approved the strategic plan in February 2023, and it is now in operation. 

You can view the full strategic plan along with background details on the strategic planning process here: Cook County Local Energy Project Strategic Plan

Reference: Kat Meyo, CCLEP Executive Director,