From the Archive: Anya Schoolman, Executive Director of Solar United Neighbors — Episode 55 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 8 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

How did one group of neighbors from Washington, D.C., band together to advance clean energy locally and then build a larger movement replicating their model elsewhere? In the latest episode from the Local Energy Rules podcast archive, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, revisits a 2013 interview with Anya Schoolman, the major force behind a unique, grassroots solar cooperative model that has since grown into Solar United Neighbors, now a national leader in distributed, cooperative solar. The two discuss effective ways to invest in solar energy and advocate for local policies to support distributed energy from the ground up—strategies as relevant in 2013 as they are today.… Read More

Community Power State Scorecard Comparison — 2018 vs. 2017

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

Earlier this spring, ILSR released its 2018 Community Power State Scorecard, revealing the best and worst states for local clean energy across the country. Did many states improve on their 2017 score? In this new comparison of state rankings, we take a closer look at which states have taken the lead, which are improving, and which have a lot more to do when it comes to creating a policy landscape that enables distributed energy.… Read More

The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2017 Update

Date: 14 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Across the country, more states than ever are making solar energy—and distributed solar at that—a key part of their energy mix. But where have these gains been greatest, and what are the economic implications for residents from one state to the next? To answer these questions, an updated analysis of solar markets, using annual data from 2017, takes a closer look at the state-by-state share of distributed solar, highlighting which states have taken the lead to prioritize small-scale, local energy systems.… Read More

Supporting Affordable Residential Access to Community Solar in Minnesota

Date: 3 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In April, ILSR submitted comments in support of affordable residential access to community solar for review by Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission. These comments concerned a proposed residential adder framework outlined as part of the state’s community solar program and Minnesota Department of Commerce Value of Solar calculation. We argue that, in a recent analysis submitted to the Commission by Xcel Energy, the utility exaggerated costs likely to be incurred under this new framework. Our comments support those made by allies such as Cooperative Energy Futures and advocate for adder calculations that ensure financeability and broad participation among residential subscribers to the state’s community solar program.… Read More

Ballot Initiative Shapes Iowa Town’s Fight for Local Power — Episode 54 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 25 Apr 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

What can a town do to advance clean energy locally if it is fed up with its incumbent, investor-owned monopoly utility? In the latest episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell, Director of ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative, interviews Andy Johnson and Joel Zook, community members and local energy leaders from Decorah Power, about an upcoming ballot initiative in Decorah, Iowa, and the culmination of an organized, grassroots effort by residents to take back local control of their electric utility and energy future. In a midterm election year, this is one vote that those who care about local, clean energy will not want to miss.… Read More

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

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

South Miami: A Bright Spot for Solar in Sunshine State — Episode 53 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

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

What can a small city do to advance clean energy locally, if its state commissioners and legislators are not willing to take their jobs regulating monopoly electric utilities seriously? John Farrell interviews Philip Stoddard, the pioneering, fourth-term mayor of South Miami, Florida, who has been sticking up to the state’s incumbent utility, in order to make the state live up to its billing as the Sunshine State.… Read More

Leaked Draft Bill Confirms Xcel Energy’s Priority for Profits Over Community Solar

Date: 30 Mar 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A newly-released parody video makes Xcel Energy’s top priority clear: maximize profits for shareholders, even if that comes at the expense of the country’s most successful community solar program. Supporting analysis of a leaked draft bill from Xcel lobbyists illustrates this further and points out the company’s nasty habit of trying to make its own rules.… Read More

States Agree: Third-Party Ownership Enables Distributed Solar, But What’s Next?

Date: 23 Mar 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Compared with previous rankings of solar capacity, do states that allow third-party leases and power purchase agreements still dominate? The answer is yes, especially for distributed solar capacity. Every state in the top 10 in rooftop and small-scale solar still allows for third-party ownership.… Read More