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Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of December 7, 2015

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Dec 8, 2015 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at
Democratic Energy Media Roundup (3)

This week in Democratic Energy:

Tea Party leader champions solar energy in Florida.

Energy fixed-charges rise in Omaha, so does the pitch of opposition.

Rooftop solar reaches such a prevalence that it is now being tracked by the Energy Information Administration.

Featured Stories:

It’s not doomsday, but neither is ending the Solar Tax Credit good policy by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Rooftop Solar at 33% of US Energy Supply, now Being Tracked by EIA by Alternate Energy Magazine

Opposition mobilizing to challenge Omaha utility’s fixed-charge proposal by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

The Tea Party leader taking a stand for solar energy: ‘I will do what’s right’ by Richard Luscombe, The Guardian

Democratic Energy News Around the Nation:


Net metering: groups say new rules must work for agriculture by Christine Souza, AgAlert

If solar is thriving, why mess with it? by James Allen, Monterey Herald

Why rooftop solar advocates are upset about California’s clean-energy law by Ivan Penn, The LA Times


The Tea Party leader taking a stand for solar energy: ‘I will do what’s right’ by Richard Luscombe, The Guardian


New trouble for NextEra merger as regulators slam Hawaiian Electric power supply plan by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

The list of the PSIP’s shortcomings is particularly surprising because the commission had offered guidance after its rejection of HECO’s first plan. Yet the utility’s second PSIP raised a long list of commission concerns:

  1. Cost impacts and risks not demonstrated to be reasonable
  2. Does not aggressively seek lower-cost new utility-scale renewables
  3. Does not adequately address distributed energy resources
  4. Fossil-fueled power plant plans not sufficiently justified
  5. Ancillary services proposals lack transparency and may not be the most cost-effective option
  6. Inter-island transmission analysis lacks sufficient detail
  7. Customer and implementation risks not adequately addressed


2 ways solar energy’s future in Illinois just got brighter by Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund


City buildings plan to install solar panels by Lauren Clark, Indiana Public Media

Solar power getting customers’ attention by Frank Gray, The Journal Gazette


Iowa agency nudges farmers toward efficiency and renewables by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News


Solar campaign aims to keep net metering in Maine by Erin Place, News Sun Journal


Standard solar completes garage-top solar canopy in Maryland by Solar Industry Magazine


Large solar projects capped out in Massachusetts by Tim Faulkner, EcoRi News

The state’s solar ceiling has already been reached in 171 communities serviced by National Grid, primarily in eastern Massachusetts. The limit doesn’t affect small residential solar projects. But the cap does prevent larger, often shared or community solar arrays, from powering their homes with remote solar arrays that benefit renters, low-income communities and homes whose roofs aren’t suitable for solar panels.

The cap applies to the net-metering program, which permits owners of solar arrays to sell excess electricity back to the electric grid for credit. Solar-energy advocates say the low cap is stalling proposed projects and dialing back the state’s growth in the solar sector.

“Here’s the bottom line: We should not put a limit on clean energy. Instead, we should move as quickly as possible to power our society with 100 percent clean, renewable energy — and solar will have a critical role to play,” said Ben Hellerstein, director of the environmental advocacy group Environment Massachusetts.


Understanding and upgrading Michigan’s clean energy policy by Ariana Gonzalez, National Resource Defense Council


South-metro school districts investing in solar energy by Erin Adler, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Minnesota town’s solar project more about saving green than being green by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Jordan used a methodical approach to deciding on a solar garden. “We spoke to several solar garden companies and looked at the option of using city land and city financing to build a community solar garden with a developer,” Nikunen said.

The idea of a city-owned array had some appeal because of the potential for greater long-term cost savings, he said. The city had land available for a solar garden, but the council did not like having to pay upfront costs and worried the technology installed today would become outmoded over a 25-year contract, Nikunen said.

Activists question northern Minnesota utility’s community solar program by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News


Net metering rules pass Public Service Commission by R.L. Nave, Journal Free Press

“Mississippians are self-sufficient. They like to fix their own cars and grow their own food. They should be able to make their own power, too,” Mississippi Public Service Commission’s Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley said.


Opposition mobilizing to challenge Omaha utility’s fixed-charge proposal by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News


Thousands sign petition for net metering rates by Yasmeen Hassan, KTNV-TV

New Hampshire

Hudson moves closer to removing obstacle to solar panels by Eli Okun, The New Hampshire Union Leader

New York

New York to get half its electricity from renewable energy by 2030 by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

FTC to NY: be wary of utilities derailing independent microgrids by Elisa Wood, Microgrid Knowledge

Upstate New York town wants to be taken off the grid by Larry Rulison, GovTech

PSC’s renewables plans met with skepticism by Lynn Woods, Woodstock Times


Ohio ALEC-inspired bill would block clean power plan, line polluters’ pockets by Samantha Williams, National Resource Defense Council

Get a better deal by The Toledo Blade Editorial Board


Solar energy is for everyone by Sean Gallagher, Pittsburgh Post Gazette


The Texas power market: an industry in flux by Natalie Regoli and Brian Polley, Texas Lawyer

Nationwide Democratic Energy News:

The top 5 trends in distributed energy policy and rate design by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

3 ways public power providers can prepare for technology and market changes by Michael O’Boyle and Sonia Aggarwal, GreenTech Media

Greatest growth in consumer adoption of solar energy among middle class by Solar Industry Magazine

U.S. solar industry in urgent push to extend tax incentive by Nichola Groom, Reuters

Should home solar leave behind net metering? by Mark Barna, The Energy Collective

Rooftop solar at 33% of US energy supply, now being tracked by EIA by Alternate Energy Magazine