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Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of July 20, 2015

| Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Jul 23, 2015 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

This week in Democratic Energy:

  • New York is leading the renewable energy revolution
  • #SolarforAll strategy takes hold
  • Mississippi’s perfect storm for renewables

Featured Stories

Opening The Door To Solar Power For All by Mark Ruffalo, The Huffington Post

Utility Solar May Cost Less, But It’s Also Worth Less by John Farrell, GreenTech Solar

Five Things I Learned About the Future of Solar Power and the Electricity Grid by Varun Sivaram, The Council on Foreign Relations

Democratic Energy Across the Nation



Californians, Love Thy Neighbor as One May Power Your Dryer by Mark Chediak and Jonathan Crawford, Bloomberg

The shift demonstrates that small-scale power sources are becoming a more critical part of the state’s energy mix. “This is an important win for California energy users,” said Ken Munson, chief executive officer of Sunverge Energy, which aggregates power from solar panels and batteries installed at homes and businesses. “It paves the way for consumers to play a more active role in the generation and distribution of the energy we use every day.”



Group attempts to undercut solar initiative with rival amendment by Mary Ellen Klas, The Miami Herald

The latest flare-up in Florida’s solar wars emerged Wednesday when a group sided with Florida’s utility industry and announced it is gathering petitions for a rival constitutional amendment that would give consumers a right to do what they already can — put rooftop solar on their homes and be regulated by government.

The effort was blasted by supporters of the Solar Choice amendment as an attempt to undercut their proposal to allow homeowners and businesses to sell solar power up to two megawatts and prohibit government from erecting barriers to rooftop solar in Florida. That amendment is opposed by Florida’s public and private utility monopolies who want to control the sale of all solar power in Florida.



Forest City Council to Meet on Net Metering and Other Matters by KIOW Radio



Rally at Lowell City Hall calls for state to raise limit for net-metering credits by Hiroko Sato, Lowell Sun
Read more:

With This Airbnb For Energy, Now You Can Buy Solar Power From Your Neighbor by Ben Schiller, Co.Exist

Ashby board weighs solar plan by Jon Bishop, Sentinel & Enterprise News

Activists launch tour of state to push for more solar power by WPRI-TV



Mississippi sunshine and the perfect storm by David Dallas, Mississippi Business Journal

The vast majority of utility monopolies around the country are not happy with rooftop solar or net metering. Their lobbyists have been working overtime wining, dining and entertaining state legislators in order to pass tax hikes, special fees, and surcharges all designed to undercut rooftop solar.
However, a source at the Public Service Commission told the MBJ that they believe the people of Mississippi are closer than ever to net metering and that the rules should benefit consumers. Maybe Mississippi will take the lead and develop a thriving rooftop solar market.



Renewable energy advocates say utility’s fee is unfair by Matthew Brown, The State

But Dahlman said under MDU’s proposal the couple would be unfairly penalized by the extra fee for renewables. “We’re family farmers, not a big corporate farm. We work very hard just to keep our heads above water,” she said. “We don’t think it’s right that MDU is taking away energy choices for customers at the same time as a double-digit rate increase.”


Solar: Scottsbluff city looks for individuals or businesses to step up, Scottsbluff StarHerald

Nebraska Public Power District has chosen Scottsbluff as a pilot city for its Community Solar Project, which would allow people to connect to a distribution center and generate their own power.

New Mexico

Balderas: New Mexico regulators reject study on renewables by Susan Montoya Bryan, Idaho Statesman


New York

New York wants to lead the renewable energy revolution. Here’s how by Bill Sanderson, Washington Post

NY Finalizes Major Initiative to Expand Solar Access by Vote Solar, Business Wire

“Solar is working for the Empire State in a big way. Record numbers of New Yorkers are harnessing sunshine to save on their energy bills, which is creating local jobs and reducing the need for traditional polluting power. This new program will empower even more communities, families and businesses to participate in that great solar success story,” said Sean Garren, Northeast Regional Manager for Vote Solar, a national solar advocacy organization. “We thank Governor Cuomo, his administration and the PSC for making equal access to solar a priority and for speeding our transition to a healthier, more resilient clean energy system.”

New York expands RE community net metering to lower income residents by Richard A. Kessler, Re/Charge

New York PSC Lays Groundwork for Community Net Metering by Solar Energies Industry Association

Group hopes to help install 300 solar systems across CNY by Kira Maddox,



Kaysville Suspends Credits for Rooftop Solar Customers by Andrea Smardon, KUER News

He was planning to install the panels by the end of this year, but this week, Treu was surprised to learn that the Kaysville City Council voted unanimously last month to impose a moratorium on net metering for new solar installations. That means he would not get any credit for excess electricity sent back to the grid.

“There’s no way we can do this without the cost savings associated with the net metering agreement any time in the next four to five years,” Treu says


New Vermont state energy plan likely to focus on distributed power, transportation by Dave Gram, The Journal

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Rebecca Toews

About Rebecca Toews

Rebecca is ILSR’s Communications Specialist.  For media inquiries, reach Rebecca by e-mail at:
Rebecca’s experience lies all along the media spectrum. Her communication focus originated in the news field, with more than seven years experience in newsroom settings and professional & university teaching positions. More

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