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solar garden - flickr  Kevin Krejci
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 11, 2014

A Few Weeds in Minnesota Decision to Allow Community Solar Gardens to Grow

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/weeds-minnesota-decision-community-solar-gardens-grow/

Late last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, the Public Utilities Commission decision also highlighted the shortcomings of the legislature’s distributed solar policy adopted in 2013. What was missing? Minnesota’s increasingly well-known “value of… Continue reading

courtroom - flickr  Clyde Robinson
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2014

Can PUCs Lead on Distributed Renewable Energy?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/pucs-lead-distributed-renewable-energy/

If you’re like most renewable energy advocates that have interacted with a Public Utilities Commission, you probably don’t think they’re a repository of progressive policy toward distributed renewable energy.  In general, you’re right. But it’s worth sharing a few, promising examples of Public Utilities Commissions around the U.S. that are actually making things better for… Continue reading

future of solar presentation cover
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 10 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

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

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies that provide leasing contracts for solar to home and business customers declared war on this “value of solar” policy, and pretty much every financial model for compensating… Continue reading

a-roadmap-for-the-fcc-to-ensure-local-authority-to-build-networks-community-broadband-podcast-84
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Feb 4, 2014

A Roadmap for the FCC To Ensure Local Authority to Build Networks – Community Broadband Podcast #84

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/roadmap-fcc-ensure-local-authority-build-networks-community-broadband-podcast-84

When the DC Circuit Court handed down a decision ruling against the FCC’s Open Internet (network neutrality) rules, it also clarified that the FCC has the power to overrule state laws that limit local authority to build community networks. Harold Feld, Senior Vice President for Public Knowledge, joins us for Community Broadband Bits Episode #84… Continue reading

Xcel Energy excessive community solar fees Minnesota 2013
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 11, 2013

Improvements Needed to Xcel’s Proposed MN Community Solar Program

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/improvements-needed-xcels-proposed-mn-community-solar-program/

Xcel Energy has published their proposed community solar program on Sept. 30, 2013 and ILSR submitted comments on the unlawfully capped and fee-crazy program last week. Comments below Public Comments on Community Solar (Docket E-002/M-13-867) Program Design Requirements Does Xcel’s proposed plan for operating a community solar garden (CSG) meet all the program design requirements,… Continue reading

ip-transition-catches-fire-island-community-broadband-bits-podcast-episode-52
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Jun 25, 2013

IP Transition Catches Fire Island – Community Broadband Bits Podcast Episode #52

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/ip-transition-catches-fire-island-community-broadband-bits-podcast-episode-52

We welcome Harold Feld, Senior Vice President of Public Knowledge back to the show to discuss the latest update in the so-called IP Transition. Back in episode 32, Harold explained the five fundamental protections needed for our telecommunications system. Today he returns to discuss the ways in which some of the islands devastated by Sandy… Continue reading

verizon-plans-to-abandon-copper-wires-in-islands-damaged-by-sandy
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jun 19, 2013

Verizon Plans to Abandon Copper Wires In Islands Damaged by Sandy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/verizon-plans-abandon-copper-wires-islands-damaged-sandy

Victims of Sandy are still recovering from the killer storm that ripped through the east coast last year. Two places hardest hit by the “Frankenstorm” were Fire Island, New York and the Barrier Island in New Jersey. In addition to homes and property, residents lost phone and Internet communications when telephone wires went down. They… Continue reading

kentuckians-once-again-fighting-to-keep-landlines
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Feb 22, 2013

Kentuckians Once Again Fighting to Keep Landlines

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/kentuckians-once-again-fighting-keep-landlines

Last year, we reported on the failed SB 135, which would have eliminated the “carrier of last resort” requirement in the state. The bill, sponsored by Republican Senator Paul Hornback would have let AT&T decide who could receive basic telephone service and would have limited consumer protections. Last year’s bill did not become law, but… Continue reading

mn-house-committee-learns-about-the-pucbroadband-relationship
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 31, 2013

MN House Committee Learns About the PUC/Broadband Relationship

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/mn-house-committee-learns-about-pucbroadband-relationship

We want to thank Ann Treacy from the Blandin Foundation for getting out and reporting on many events dealing with telecommunications. We know we can rely on her to faithfully share her findings via the Bladin on Broadband blog. Last week, Ann attended the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee at the Minnesota House of… Continue reading

John Farrell
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2012

Finding Value in Distributed Generation, Before it Finds You

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/finding-distributed-generation-finds/

ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell is giving this presentation to a collaborative meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) this weekend.  It highlights the proven value of distributed solar to utility grid systems and the urgent need for regulators and utilities to incorporate this value into… Continue reading