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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 12, 2014

“$364 billion up for grabs” – A Video preview of Energy Democracy

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

2014 marked the year that solar energy, energy storage and electric vehicles – hallmarks of a decentralized electricity grid – got big enough to threaten the electric utilities, exposing their 100-year-old business model as out-of-date. In nearly 20 states, utilities are fighting back, proposing new fees and rules to minimize the competition from customer generated… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Dec 9, 2014

New Report: Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy Democracy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/report-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 –… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 2, 2014

Lifting State Limits on Local Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/state-limits-local-power/

In the first half of 2014, distributed local solar power constituted over 25% of new power plant capacity. This impressive growth continues several years where solar power has grown by leaps and bounds, producing power right where it’s needed and juicing up local economies. But many states have limited how much of their electricity can… Continue reading

Minneapolis clean energy partnership signed
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2014

A 2-Year City Workplan for Energy Democracy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/proposed-2-year-strategy-energy-democracy-minneapolis/

The first-in-the-nation city-utility partnership has been framed in Minneapolis, but can the city and its utilities really deliver substantive movement toward an equitable energy economy in the next two years? It all depends on the workplan, and the grassroots team at Minneapolis Energy Options has delivered. (Disclosure: I serve on the board of Community Power… Continue reading

Credit: Matthew Paulson
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 17, 2014

The History and Hope for a First-in-the-Nation City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/history-hope-first-in-the-nation-city-utility-clean-energy-partnership/

In the past month, the city of Minneapolis and its two investor-owned utilities adopted the nation’s first clean energy partnership, with a wide range of goals including meeting the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. How did it happen and what can it accomplish? The following 8-minute video from one of the “lead rabble… Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Oct 27, 2014

Community Broadband Media Roundup – October 24

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/community-broadband-media-roundup-october-24

On this week’s community broadband media roundup, we have more reverberations from Next Century Cities, a forward-thinking coalition of cities that promises real progress in establishing or restoring local authority for broadband networks. For the inside scoop on the launch, we suggest taking a look at Ann L. Kim’s Friday Q&A with Deb Socia, the… Continue reading

rooftop solar LA - Mike Spasoff flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Oct 21, 2014

We Have “Value for Solar,” but Should We Use It?

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

Earlier this year, Minnesota became the first state to formalize dozens of studies by adopting a “value of solar” formula that would fundamentally change the relationship between solar energy producers and their utility. It’s designed to have the utility accurately compensate solar energy producers for the value of solar electricity to the utility, its customers,… Continue reading

tenKsolar solar and Minneapolis skyline
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Oct 6, 2014

Agreements with utilities would create first-of-its-kind Clean Energy Partnership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/agreements-utilities-create-first-of-its-kind-clean-energy-partnership/

From MinneapolisMN.gov: The City of Minneapolis, Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy have reached tentative agreements that would establish a first-of-its-kind City-utility Clean Energy Partnership. If approved by the Minneapolis City Council Oct. 17, the partnership will result in the City and utility companies collaborating in new ways to help Minneapolis achieve its energy goals. These… Continue reading

tenKsolar solar and Minneapolis skyline
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Oct 6, 2014

REPORT: An Alternative Grid Model for Minneapolis

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/report-alternative-grid-model-minneapolis/

This short report shares the results of advanced electricity system modeling for the city of Minneapolis, revealing an opportunity to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a comparable cost of power and to dramatically boost renewable energy production at a modestly higher price. Download the report Executive Summary An advanced technical and economic model of… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 3, 2014

Will Clean Local Energy Grow? A Novel City-Utility Partnership Sprouts in Minneapolis

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

Ever wonder what happened to the notion last August that the city of Minneapolis would take over its energy utilities? While it may seem like the issue vanished, next Monday the Minneapolis City Council makes a monumental decision on another way forward to a better energy future. On the table is a novel partnership between… Continue reading