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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of April 3, 2017

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Apr 4, 2017 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-media-roundup-week-of-april-3-2017/

This week in Energy Democracy news:

Minnesota’s Governor Mark Dayton vetoes legislation that would have removed oversight for rural cooperatives, saving rural solar, plus a story of how Floridians defeated the controversial solar amendment during last year’s election.

Featured Stories:

How solar advocates defeated a controversial amendment by Eileen Mignoni, Yale Climate Connections Blog

In Santa Fe, momentum builds for locals to take charge of electricity system (Episode 39 of Local Energy Rules podcast) by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Changing the language of renewable energy, the electric monopoly’s newest ploy by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Gov. Dayton vetoes bill diminishing PUC oversight by Karen Zamora, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill Monday that would remove state regulators’ authority to settle certain electric utility disputes. In February, Dayton indicated he could veto bills perceived as weakening the authority of the state Public Utilities Commission — a group appointed by the governor that regulates the state’s electricity, gas and telephone companies.

“Eliminating the PUC’s role would remove critical consumer protection for customers,” Dayton said in a letter Monday to House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. The Senate passed the bill 39-26 on Thursday after an 89-37 House vote in February.

Unlocking universal access to community solar by Karlee Weinmann, PV Magazine

Colorado city commits to 100% renewable after natural gas drives up electricity costs by Laura A. Shepard, ThinkProgress

Working-class homeowners in Pueblo, Colorado have struggled to keep up with their sky-high electric bills. Locals said rampant shutoffs have plunged entire city blocks into darkness and sent power-starved families to motels and homeless shelters. Senior citizens have given up television and unscrewed refrigerator lights in an attempt to save money. And local businesses have grappled with electric bills as high as their rents.

Frustrated by bloated power bills and frequent shutoffs, citizens of Pueblo have lobbied the city council to abandon natural gas and switch to more affordable renewable energy.

Energy Democracy News in the States:

Alaska

Alaska warms to solar power as prices fall and benefits grow by Alex DeMarban, Alaska Daily News

 

California

California bills propose ‘clean peak’ standard to boost renewables deployment by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

More power applied to Community Choice Energy Program by Jim Smith, Daily Democrat

How California lawmakers plan to align renewable generation with power demand by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

 

Colorado

Colorado city commits to 100% renewable after natural gas drives up electricity costs by Laura A. Shepard, ThinkProgress

Working-class homeowners in Pueblo, Colorado have struggled to keep up with their sky-high electric bills. Locals said rampant shutoffs have plunged entire city blocks into darkness and sent power-starved families to motels and homeless shelters. Senior citizens have given up television and unscrewed refrigerator lights in an attempt to save money. And local businesses have grappled with electric bills as high as their rents.

 

Florida

How solar advocates defeated a controversial amendment by Eileen Mignoni, Yale Climate Connections Blog

 

Illinois

Solar panels installed at Waukegan public schools generating energy by Emily K. Coleman, Chicago Tribune

Moline wind, solar company has plans for Rock Island project by Stephen Elliot, Dispatch-Argus

 

Indiana

Solar energy at crossroads in Indiana by Robert King, IndyStar

Net metering bill continues to draw debate by Nick Janzen, WFYI Indianapolis

Ask Renee: SB 309 still looks to shut down solar in Indiana by Renee Sweany, NUVO

Solar bill would prompt ‘prolonged litigation,’ consumer group says by Dave Stafford, The Indiana Lawyer

Significant changes coming to solar bill by Katie Stancombe, Greensburg Daily News

House panel advances bill to trim solar ‘subsidy’ by Stephanie Wang and Robert King, IndyStar

Solar, net metering bill passes house committee by Nick Janzen, WFYI Indianapolis

Don’t let utilities control solar by Stan Rorick, Journal & Courier

 

Iowa

To Iowa: Let’s go forward with solar power, not backward by Tim Dwight, The Des Moines Register

 

Maine

Bills to expand solar incentives in Maine ready to launch by Tux Turkel, Portland Press Herald

Solar energy advocates call on PUC to reconsider decision to reduce incentive by Kevin Miller, Portland Press Herald

Maine lawmakers craft legislation to preserve retail net metering by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

Coalition petitions Public Utilities Commission to reconsider solar net metering rules by Brandon Doyen, WABI-TV

 

Michigan

Michigan begins to unroll new energy laws, study distributed generation costs by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

 

Minnesota

Gov. Dayton vetoes bill diminishing PUC oversight by Karen Zamora, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill Monday that would remove state regulators’ authority to settle certain electric utility disputes. In February, Dayton indicated he could veto bills perceived as weakening the authority of the state Public Utilities Commission — a group appointed by the governor that regulates the state’s electricity, gas and telephone companies.

“Eliminating the PUC’s role would remove critical consumer protection for customers,” Dayton said in a letter Monday to House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. The Senate passed the bill 39-26 on Thursday after an 89-37 House vote in February.

St. Peter residents discuss solar energy subscriptions by Deanna B. Narveson, Mankato Free Press

Spring in your step – Chisago County at ground zero of a clean energy revolution by Paul Douglas, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Amid lawmaker concerns, record year ahead for Minnesota solar incentive program by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

Minnesota cities learn from buying community solar together by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

 

Missouri

Solar industry alarmed by net metering bill support by utility companies by Will Schmitt, Jefferson City News-Leader

 

Nebraska

Nebraska utility seeking input for first community solar project by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Nebraska cities, state lawmakers express growing interest in PACE financing by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

“This seems like a great tool,” said Omaha City Council member Aimee Melton, who has been working for months on developing a PACE program for her hometown. “I believe the council will be supportive.”

Several other cities — including Lincoln, Grand Island and the Omaha suburbs of Papillion, Bellevue and La Vista — also have expressed interest in joining the PACE movement, according to Chris Peterson, a managing partner with PACE SAGE, a loan originator and PACE lender based in Kansas City.

 

Nevada

NV Energy, solar installers to pursue extended deadline for grandfathered net-metering rates by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

Indy Video: How do lawmakers plan to bring back rooftop solar? by Michelle Rindels and Riley Snyder, The Nevada Independent

Nevadans get more time to opt-in to more favorable net metering solar rules by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

Nevada lawmakers consider bill to restore retail net metering by Robert Walton, Utility Dive

 

New York

Unpacking changes to how New York values solar by Gabe Altieri, WSKG News

Sunshine state shuns solar as overcast New York basks in clean energy boom by Oliver Milman, The Guardian

 

North Carolina

Pasquotank decides against solar moratorium by Jon Hawley, Elizabeth City Daily Advance

 

Ohio

Clean-energy bill heads to Ohio House for vote Thursday by Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch

Cleveland State University and Case Western Reserve to study better ways to deliver energy by Karen Farkas, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Dayton-area community weighs solar project by Kaitlin Schroeder, Dayton Business Journal

 

Texas

Texas utility proposes bizarre fixed charges for solar customers by Christian Roselund, PV Magazine

 

Virginia

Commentary: Virginia should take advantage of vast clean energy opportunities by Brianna Esteves, Southeast Energy News

 

Wisconsin

Madison City Council approves agreement with AirBNB to collect room taxes, sets energy goals by Logan Wroge, Wisconsin State Journal

Members also set a goal of community-wide 100 percent renewable energy and net-zero carbon emissions, while directing $250,000 to develop a plan on how to make that possible within the city’s operations.

Racine County homes powered by the sun by Chris Bennett, Racine Journal Times

Q&A: Why Sunrun chose Wisconsin as its first Midwest market by Kari Lydersen, Midwest Energy News

 

Nationwide Energy Democracy News:

Energy storage is America’s industry to lose by David Ferris, E&E News

Google: Majority of US rooftops could support solar power by Peter Maloney, Utility Dive

Co-ops bring solar to hundreds of rural communities by Tina Casey, Triple Pundit

Unlocking universal access to community solar by Karlee Weinmann, PV Magazine

Clean energy employs more people than fossil fuels in nearly every U.S. state by Natasha Geiling, ThinkProgress

Nationally, clean energy jobs outnumber fossil fuel jobs by more than 2.5 to 1, according to a new Sierra Club analysis of Department of Energy jobs data. And when it comes to coal and gas — two sectors President Donald Trump has promised to bolster through his upcoming executive order on energy regulation — clean energy jobs outnumber jobs dealing with those two fossil fuels by 5 to 1.

As PACE financing grows up, the industry grapples with lending standards and consumer protections by Katie Fehrenbacher, GreenTech Media

New website highlights solar advancements made by rural co-ops by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

Electric cooperatives that have taken the plunge into solar energy are the stars of a new website aimed at persuading more co-ops to add solar energy to their mix.

RuralSolarStories.org, produced by the Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC),  features the tales of three rural electric cooperatives across the Midwest that have responded to customer interest by investing in solar generation. More stories are on the way.

Hundreds of clean energy bills have been introduced in states nationwide this year by Zahra Hirji, InsideClimate News

Diving into the solar microgrid revolution by Mahesh Bhave, GreenBiz

This article originally posted at ilsr.org. For timely updates, follow John Farrell on Twitter or get the Energy Democracy weekly update.