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topaz utility scale solar - flickr  Pacific Southwest Region USFWS
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 17, 2015

Utility Solar May Cost Less, But It’s Also Worth Less

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/utility-solar-may-cost-less-but-its-also-worth-less/

A new report released this week asserts that utility-scale solar is much more economical than small-scale solar. The clear implication is that we should let incumbent utilities build or buy solar from large-scale arrays instead of allowing customers to generate their own power. There are several reasons to seriously question the mistaken assertion that big… Continue reading

rooftop solar house germany - Tim Fuller flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 25, 2015

Solar Net Metering a Subsidy to Utilities?

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

When Robert Nohavec of Park City, Utah; Jabbar Graham from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; and Don Born, of Waldoboro, Maine installed solar on their homes, they had something unexpected in common. They were all giving back to their electric company and their community. That’s because solar energy systems tend to provide more value to the… Continue reading

WordItOut-word-cloud-935200
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2015

Unanswered Questions about the Public Rooftop Revolution

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

At the beginning of June 2015, ILSR released its Public Rooftop Revolution report, which described how cities across the nation put the shine on municipal rooftops with more than 5,000 MW of solar. That 5,000 MW is as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date — and many cities could… Continue reading

kansas city solar potential map
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2015

Solar Potential on Public Buildings in Kansas City

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/solar-potential-on-public-buildings-in-kansas-city/

How much solar is installed on municipal buildings? How much could be installed? As we discovered in writing ILSR’s Public Rooftop Revolution report—the latest in the Rooftop Revolution series—nobody had the answer, for almost every city we contacted. But in the course of the research, three cities answered our call to analyze their rooftop solar potential… Continue reading

us power plant capacity additions quarterly ILSR 2015-0610
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2015

Distributed Solar Surges in Early 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-solar-surges-in-early-2015/

Distributed solar was 13% of all new power plant capacity in 2014, and 2015 is starting off even bigger. Distributed residential and commercial solar installations surged 45% over the same period last year and accounted for 35% of all new power plant capacity in the first quarter of 2015. The following chart shows the quarterly… Continue reading

public domain computer-screen w PUBLIC ROOFTOP REVOLUTION
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 10, 2015

Public Rooftop Revolution in Pictures

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

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

kansas city KCMO solar 2
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 3, 2015

Kansas City’s Royal Effort to Solarize City Rooftops – Episode 25 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/kansas-citys-royal-effort-to-solarize-city-rooftops/

Kansas City, MO, has neither the abundant sunshine nor high cost of electricity that have driven solar installations in other cities. Despite this, the city has close to 1.5 MW of solar in 59 separate installations on municipal properties. Thanks to utility rebates, two department leaders, and a unique opportunity that allowed it to access… Continue reading

rooftop solar in raleigh - Melanie Bateman flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2015

Duking It Out Over Municipal Solar in Raleigh – Episode 24 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/duking-it-out-over-municipal-solar-in-raleigh/

There aren’t many solar success stories from the Southeast, making Raleigh, NC, stand out in a region with low-cost electricity and modest sunshine. With just over 2 megawatts of solar on public property––providing close to 7% of municipal building peak demand––Raleigh’s solar success comes despite state rules preventing city from buying electricity from any non-utility… Continue reading

stone arch and power line
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, newenergy | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2015

Don’t Count On It: First City-Utility Clean Energy Work Plan Short on Specifics

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/dont-count-on-it-first-clean-energy-work-plan-short/

On Friday, the nation’s first clean energy partnership between a city and its utilities released its first two-year work plan. It holds true to the notion that the city and utilities can work across a broad swath of energy initiatives in pursuit of increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy. Update 6/16/15: added in list of… 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