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minnesota state capitol solar program - michael hicks flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 18, 2015

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

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

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Minnesota’s community solar program over the past couple years and it’s time to make one thing clear: Minnesota’s program is the best in the country. Why? Because there 10 times more community solar projects in the queue—400 megawatts—in Minnesota than have been built in the history of… Continue reading

waverly-the-next-gigabit-community-in-iowa
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 17, 2015

Waverly: The Next Gigabit Community in Iowa

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/waverly-the-next-gigabit-community-in-iowa/

Remember Waverly, Iowa? We introduced you to the town of 10,000 back in 2013 when they revived the community choice to develop a telecommunications utility. Recently in February, the Waverly Light and Power Board of Trustees approved a long awaited gigabit project reported American Public Power. According to a WLP press release, the $12 million… Continue reading

sun and transmission lines - flickr Dennis Wilkinson
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 6, 2015

Solar Parity Coming Faster Than Expected

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

Back in 2012, ILSR released a pair of reports on the solar Rooftop Revolution, noting that one-third of Americans would live in a metropolitan area where the cost of solar energy from their roof would be less than the cost of power from the utility by 2021. When combined with our analysis of non-residential property,… Continue reading

rural-electric-co-mo-coop-goes-gig-community-broadband-bits-episode-140
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 3, 2015

Rural Electric Co-Mo Coop Goes Gig – Community Broadband Bits Episode 140

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rural-electric-co-mo-coop-goes-gig-community-broadband-bits-episode-140/

As high quality Internet has become more essential for business and quality of life, those who realized that the existing telecom providers had no intention to invest in better connections in their rural Missouri communities began to ask their electric cooperative – Co-Mo – to step up and do it. This week, we talk with… Continue reading

jff presenting in tucson cropped
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 20, 2015

Could Solar Shine in a Tucson City-Utility Partnership?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/solar-shine-tucson-city-utility-partnership/

A city in the sunny southwest, Tucson is wondering how it can maximize its use of cost-effective, economy-boosting solar power. Is a partnership with the electric utility, as seen in Minneapolis, the answer? ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy gave this presentation to several audiences on a recent (delightful) visit to Tucson, Arizona, to explore the… Continue reading

early-lessons-from-longmont-community-broadband-bits-podcast-106
Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Feb 18, 2015

Answering Questions About Title II and Munis – Community Broadband Bits Episode 138

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/answering-questions-title-ii-munis-community-broadband-bits-episode-138/

As we near the FCC open meeting at the end of next week, when it will decide on both the Chattanooga and Wilson petitions regarding their wish to expand as well as a proposal to reclassify Internet access a Title II service in order to ensure it can maintain the same open Internet we have… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Feb 9, 2015

Community Broadband Networks Map Fact Sheet 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/community-broadband-map-fact-sheet/

As of January 2015, more communities than ever before have realized the value of publicly owned broadband infrastructure. Many communities that choose to invest in publicly owned infrastructure do so because their needs are not met by large corporate providers. While some invest to bring reliable connectivity to local residents, others have no choice; businesses increasingly need… Continue reading

computer-screen 5 pillars
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Unveiling the Five Pillars of Energy Democracy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/unveiling-pillars-energy-democracy/

Exciting changes are on the horizon for our century-old utility structure as solar power, energy storage, and electric vehicles open new avenues for utility customers to produce their own power and control their energy use. Utilities are scrambling to remain relevant in this technological firestorm, and energy wonks are envisioning a new business model––Utility 2.0––that… Continue reading

titanic iceberg - flickr Jimmy
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Are We Sunk? The Electric Utility’s Titanic Problem

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/electric-utility-titanic-problem/

In my recent report on the utility business model of the future, I laid out 5 pillars of a democratic energy system. It’s hard not to notice the contrast between this vision of the future and the 15-year business plan laid out by Xcel Energy in Minnesota, the incumbent monopoly serving about half the state’s… Continue reading

rick evans and john farrell debate value of solar MNSEIA conference Nov 2014
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 30, 2015

Utility and Advocate Debate Value of Solar

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

At a Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association conference in November 2014, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell tilted with Xcel Energy’s Rick Evans about the state’s dormant value of solar policy and whether it was likely to be adopted in the near future. Watch the 68-minute video to see the two address a variety… Continue reading