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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. More

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zapped - timothy vogel via flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 5, 2016

Zapped by the Utility: 5 Reasons Raising Fixed Fees is Unfair

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/zapped-5-reasons-raising-fixed-fees-is-unfair/

Like mine, your eyes probably glaze when you see items like “fuel cost adjustment clause,” but tucked in your monthly electric bill are two big components that matter. One is a fixed amount you pay to be connected to the grid every month. The second is a variable portion is based on what you use…. Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 28, 2016

Open Letter Urges Xcel Energy to Adhere to Minnesota Clean Energy Commitments

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/open-letter-urges-xcel-energy-to-adhere-to-minnesota-clean-energy-commitments/

  Contact: Alice Madden Alice@communitypowermn.org 206-372-8471           To: Christopher Clark, President, Northern States Power Company – Minnesota January 26, 2016   Dear Mr. Clark, Community Power, a tireless advocate for clean, affordable, and equitable energy systems, is excited about Xcel Energy’s upcoming supplement to its Integrated Resource Plan illustrating alternatives to… Continue reading

guy with knife and kid - flickr Ross Catrow v2
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 28, 2016

New Fossil Fuel Power Plants: Assets or Liabilities?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-fossil-fuel-power-plants-assets-or-liabilities/

In any conversation about the transition to a renewable energy economy, solar and wind advocates will eventually come up against the term “stranded assets.” It’s a misleading term, usually deployed in defense of legacy fossil fuel power plants (and their owners). But as times change, “stranded assets” can be redefined and in the next few… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 5, 2016

Congress Gets Renewable Tax Credit Extension Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/congress-gets-renewable-tax-credit-extension-right/

In case you missed it over the holiday, Congress passed a new federal budget, notably extending tax credits for solar, wind, and other renewable energy technologies. The extension differs from previous ones in two ways: it extends the credits for multiple years but also (as ILSR has been discussing since 2012) phases them out over… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 23, 2015

Happy New Year and Happy 5th to Energy Self-Reliant States!

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/happy-new-year-and-happy-5th-to-energy-self-reliant-states/

  Five years ago, I launched ILSR’s first program blog, Energy Self-Reliant States, to provide regular analysis and perspective on the opportunities to enrich local economies in the changing energy landscape. At the time, the big discussions in energy were about state renewable portfolio standards, wind power, and big transmission lines as the only reasonable and cost-effective… Continue reading

exelon video thumbnail
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2015

Don’t Take the Bait: Exelon’s Feeding Frenzy Won’t Stop with Pepco

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/dont-take-the-bait-exelons-feeding-frenzy-wont-stop-with-pepco/

Exelon, a monopoly electric utility and the nation’s largest nuclear power generator, made a $6.8 billion offer to purchase Pepco, Washington D.C.’s electric utility in April of 2014. Since then, they have swarmed across Pepco’s service area, getting the approval of federal regulators, state utility commissions, and shareholders. Washington D.C.’s Public Service Commission has, however, halted Exelon in… Continue reading

anya schoolman power dc
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2015

Don’t Take the Bait: Exelon’s Ambitions Go Beyond D.C.’s Power – Episode 28 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/dont-take-the-bait-exelons-ambitions-go-beyond-d-c-s-power-episode-28-of-local-energy-rules/

In April 2014, Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power generator, made a $6.8 billion offer for Washington D.C.-based Pepco. Exelon – which already owns Illinois ComEd and Baltimore G&E – would become the largest electric utility in the country, with nearly 10 million customers. Shareholders, federal regulators, and many state utility commissions have approved the… Continue reading

John Farrell Nebraska Award
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2015

Video: Can Energy Democracy Energize the “Good Life” in Nebraska?

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

The following presentation was given by ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell, this year’s keynote speaker at the Sierra Club of Nebraska’s Annual Event on November 21st, 2015.  The presentation illustrates the march towards energy democracy by highlighting the spread of affordable distributed energy resources (such as wind and solar) and the intense pressure… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2015

ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsrs-distributed-solar-capacity-quarterly-update/

Renewable energy continues to dominate new power plant capacity and distributed generation has contributed an increasingly large share. We’ve been tracking this phenomenon since April of 2014, and, finally, the Energy Information Administration has recognized the prevalence of distributed solar and is going to report estimates of this added capacity in their monthly updates. This… Continue reading

return of doomsday - flickr 1upLego
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 19, 2015

It’s not Doomsday, but Neither is Ending the Solar Tax Credit Good Policy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/its-not-doomsday-but-neither-is-ending-the-solar-tax-credit-good-policy/

I took the “no” side in a point/counterpoint in the Wall Street Journal this week on the topic: Will Solar Energy Plummet if the Investment Tax Credit Fades Away? It’s been a great conversation-starter, but also an opportunity to clarify ILSR’s position on the tax credit extension. In short, while allowing the 30% tax credit… Continue reading