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solar home rooftop - flickr Tim Fuller
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2015

Two Decades of Solar Pioneers in Sacramento – Episode 27 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/two-decades-of-solar-pioneers-in-sacramento-episode-27-of-local-energy-rules/

The publicly-owned Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, had already installed the first utility-scale PV array in the nation back in 1984. By the early 1990s, the utility saw a potential for rooftop solar and launched its PV Pioneer program, placing dozens of solar arrays on their customer’s rooftops, for a fee. The standardized rollout… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Jun 4, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution Report: Part 4, “Conclusions”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution-report-part-4-conclusions/

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 3, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution Report: Part 3, “The Featured Five”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution-report-part-3-the-featured-five/

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 3, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution Report: Part 2, “Public Solar Economics”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution-report-part-2-public-solar-economics/

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading

Rooftop Revolution report covers
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution: Part 1, “The Opportunity”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution-part-1-the-opportunity/

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading

5 gigs municipal solar
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 1, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution Report

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/public-rooftop-revolution/

There are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on what cities are doing to make themselves energy self-reliant by using their own buildings and lands to generate power. In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter… Continue reading

cloud over solar panel - flickr  Pieter Morlion
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 11, 2015

How and Why Utilities Make Solar Look Expensive

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/utilities-solar-expensive/

I’m visiting the wonderful folks from Sustainable Tucson in Arizona next week to talk about the opportunities that solar and clean energy offer their local economy. In preparation, I’m looking at their current monopoly electricity provider, Tucson Electric Power. Remarkably, the utility acquires just 4% of its electricity from renewable resources (and over 70% from… Continue reading

us installed cost of solar power ilsr
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Jan 6, 2015

The Three Biggest Solar Charts of 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/biggest-solar-charts-2014/

The rise of solar power allows a further democratizing of the electricity system, and these charts illustrate how 2014 was a banner year for solar, but particularly distributed solar power. Apologies for the re-post of these charts, but I wanted to do a year-in-review approach to these solar charts. First, the following chart shows that 2014… Continue reading

trojan nuclear power plant - flickr tobin
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 8 Comments | Updated on Sep 11, 2014

Minnesota Nuclear Plant Cost Overruns Show Shortcomings of Large Scale Power Generation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/minnesota-nuclear-plant-cost-overruns-highlight-risk-centralized-climate-solutions/

With the rich history of cost overruns in the nuclear industry, Xcel Energy and Minnesota regulators probably shouldn’t have been surprised when the retrofit cost to the Monticello nuclear power plant ballooned to more than twice the original estimate late last year. Regulators are asking tough questions about whether the cost overruns are the responsibility… Continue reading

foolhardy2-300px
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 10 Comments | Updated on Aug 18, 2014

Why Aren’t Rural Electric Cooperatives Champions of Local Clean Power?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rural-electric-cooperatives-champions-local-clean-power/

When it comes to ownership, there are few better structures for keeping a community’s wealth local than a cooperative. So why is it that America’s rural electric cooperatives are tethered to dirty, old coal-fired power plants instead of local-wealth generating renewable power? There are a lot of answers to this question, but it might start… Continue reading