Reverse Power Flow: How Solar+Batteries Shift Electric Grid Decision Making from Utilities to Consumers

Date: 17 Jul 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

For 100 years, most decisions about the U.S. electric grid have been made at the top by electric utilities, public regulators, and grid operators. That era has ended, and our report details how the collective impact of individual consumers installing solar-plus-storage reverses the flow of power on the electricity grid.… Read More

Being a B Corp also Benefits Green Mountain Power’s Bottom Line

Date: 26 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Conventional wisdom suggests that concerns about social and environmental impacts, though well-intended, can distract from a public company’s legal obligation to reward shareholders. But if this conventional wisdom were true, Vermont’s Green Mountain Power ought to be lagging behind its investor-owned electric utility peers. Instead, this certified B Corp is promoting people, planet, and profit, and jumping ahead of its utility industry peers. … Read More

An Open Letter to California Energy Commissioners on the Rooftop Solar Mandate

Date: 22 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The conventional wisdom in electricity generation is that scale matters. But this outdated notion rests on the assumption that electricity generators compete only in the wholesale market. California’s nearly 1 million solar roofs already producing power provide the factual counterpunch to this myth, but so does ample research on the economies of scale and the price of competition in the wind and solar markets.… Read More

New York Solar Bill Encourages Distributed Energy Market to Stay on Target

Date: 22 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the New York solar version of this space epic, the Alliance’s X-wing fighters have scrambled to advance Assembly Bill 10474. It’s the only hope to stop VaDER—Value of Distributed Energy Resources–a tool once intended to transition the state’s solar market to version 2.0, but one that incumbent electric utilities have successfully turned to a dark purpose: quashing the ability of New York residents to go solar together.… Read More

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

Date: 18 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Minnesota’s community solar program hit a record 364 megawatts of operational capacity in June 2018. The chart above shows the progress of projects through the program since August 2015, and the nearly two-year lag between the program launch in December 2014 and the successful ignition of multiple megawatts of capacity in January 2017. Below is a simplified version of the chart above, showing just projects in the design/construction phase or in operation.… Read More

Vote for Decorah Municipal Utility Falls Short, But Local Energy Advocates Persist

Date: 31 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The final referendum results in May 2018 were stunningly close, with local organizers coming within three votes of advancing an effort for a municipal electric utility in the small town of Decorah, Iowa. The incumbent monopoly utility outspent local activists by a 4-to-1 margin, overwhelming local organizing despite a study that suggested electric customers could save 30% by switching to a locally owned utility.… Read More

California’s Landmark Solar Homes Mandate Lowers Cost of Home Ownership

Date: 11 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Starting January 1, 2020, every new home built in California will sport solar panels. The landmark ruling of the state’s Energy Commission is expected to lower the monthly cost of home ownership by $40, but it will also have significant benefits for the local economy and the electric grid.… Read More

Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Annual Update — 2017

Date: 19 Apr 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The U.S. experienced relatively sluggish gains in total new power plant capacity in 2017, when compared to 2016, but it also saw another, more positive outcome: a notable surge in distributed solar. Using the latest available national data on power generation, this most recent look at data on annual and quarterly electricity generation nationwide from the Energy Democracy Initiative at ILSR illustrates how small-scale, distributed solar energy stacks up against its big, fossil fuel and utility-scale renewable energy competitors.… Read More

Presentation: Iowa Town Looks to City-Owned Utility

Date: 4 Apr 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell, provided a presentation to a forum of Decorah Power, the local advocacy organization favoring city utility ownership to discuss several advantages from local ownership. First, there’s an abundant local wind and solar energy resource. Second, Decorah isn’t alone, and over 2,000 other cities chart their own course with municipal ownership. Finally, getting power locally returns more dollars to the local economy.… Read More

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