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Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of September 19, 2016

| Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Sep 20, 2016 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-september-19-2016/
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This week in Energy Democracy news:

Nevada ratepayers (finally) ruled to qualify for grandfathered solar rates, Colorado cooperative is buying renewable energy, and a new solar project in Morocco comes under criticism for transmission and scale concerns.

Featured Stories

John Farrell’s keynote presentation at Salt Spring Community Energy Conference (Video) by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Deal reached to grandfather in rooftop solar customers under more favorable rates by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

New mapping tool showcases clean energy policies and projects by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

“I was surprised how well the mapping shows what we intended it to show, which is that states which have a better policy regime…tend to have more of the things we were tracking,” Farrell said. Those include dots on the map for renewable projects and energy efficiency efforts, many for wind and solar, in every state. Viewers can add projects which Farrell may have missed.

Freeing electric cooperatives from fossil fuel serfdom? Episode 33 of Local Energy Rules Podcast by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

An electric-power giant is poised to fall by Ed Marston, Colorado Independent

Like the biblical David, Delta-Montrose has sunk a stone deep into Tri-State’s forehead. The missile was provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which ordered Delta-Montrose to buy any reasonably priced renewable energy on offer. The order cut the heart out of power-purchase contracts that Tri-State has with Delta-Montrose and its 42 other co-ops. Those contracts require the co-ops to buy at least 95 percent of their power from Tri-State until mid-century.

A solar project worth watching in Morocco by Brooke Anderson, Wall Street Journal

“CSP electricity is still relatively expensive compared with PV, whose price has dropped by more than half since 2008,” says John Farrell,director of the energy democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self Reliance, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit devoted to promoting environmentally sound community development.

Energy Democracy News in the States

Arizona

Pros and cons of TEP rate case on service, solar buyback by Zachary Ziegler, Arizona Public Media

Among the attendees were organizations that represent low-income residents, retirees, the disabled and others who live on fixed incomes. “AARP is very concerned about the proposal that TEP has made,” said Stephen Jennings, a representative of the group’s Arizona office. “Taking what is really an access charge to electricity, the monthly customer charge, which is currently $10, and proposing raising it to $17.”

 

Colorado

An electric-power giant is poised to fall by Ed Marston, Colorado Independent

Like the biblical David, Delta-Montrose has sunk a stone deep into Tri-State’s forehead. The missile was provided by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which ordered Delta-Montrose to buy any reasonably priced renewable energy on offer. The order cut the heart out of power-purchase contracts that Tri-State has with Delta-Montrose and its 42 other co-ops. Those contracts require the co-ops to buy at least 95 percent of their power from Tri-State until mid-century.

Utilities adapting to industry changes by Howard Brooks, Colorado Springs Gazette

 

Florida

Solar energy advocates focus on defeating utility-sponsored amendment by Jeffrey Schweers, Tallahassee Democrat

 

Hawaii

Growing pains: Hawaii solar sector howls as grid-supply incentives hit caps by Krysti Shallenberger, UtilityDive

 

International

In time, all cars will be electric, driverless and running on renewables by Fereidoon Sioshani, RenewEconomy

A solar project worth watching in Morocco by Brooke Anderson, Wall Street Journal

“CSP electricity is still relatively expensive compared with PV, whose price has dropped by more than half since 2008,” says John Farrell,director of the energy democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self Reliance, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit devoted to promoting environmentally sound community development.

 

Iowa

Johnson County triples its solar power production by Stephen Gruber-Miller, Iowa City Press Citizen

Small, local utilities turning to renewable energy by Amie Steffeneicher, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier

 

Maine

Portland council opts to negotiate deal to build solar array at landfill by Dennis Hoey, Portland Press Herald

The vote will allow City Manager Jon Jennings to negotiate an agreement with ReVision Energy LLC at a cost to the city of $150,000 over its first six years. The project would reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuel-based electricity by 25 percent over the next decade, Mayor Ethan Strimling said.

Maine PUC issues proposed rule on retail net energy billing by Cheryl Kaften, Energy Manager Today

 

Michigan

Electricity choice on the chopping block in Michigan as state debates reliability, renewables by Herman K. Trabish, Utility Dive

Officials see ‘steady progress’ with Michigan’s net metering program by Andy Balaskovitz, Midwest Energy News

 

Minnesota

New Minnesota consumer advocacy group takes on utility rate plan by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

The Citizens Utility Board of Minnesota will appear before the state Public Utilities Commission today making arguments on behalf of the CUB and three other organizations representing low-income residents and seniors.

The groups submitted arguments in a July filing against a proposed residential rate increase from Minnesota Power that would also lower rates for industrial customers.

New program in Winona County for businesses investing in renewable energy by Winona Daily News

 

Nebraska

Nebraska making efficiency push for state-owned buildings by Karen Uhlenhuth, Midwest Energy News

 

Nevada

Deal reached to grandfather in rooftop solar customers under more favorable rates by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

The five paths to resolving the solar debacle in Nevada by Adam Browning, GreenTech Media

Carson City judge’s ruling aligns with new proposal for existing rooftop solar by Sean Whaley, Las Vegas Review Journal

Nevada court overturns fixed charges, lower net metering rates for existing solar customers by Peter Maloney, Utility Dive

 

New Hampshire

Solar, beer and the path forward for New Hampshire by Phil Coupe, Concord Monitor

 

New Mexico

Guzman Energy promises renewable power to the people by Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post

Investors are willing to fund renewable projects, but need long-term commitments for the power generated. Customers in many parts of the country want more renewable sources, including the ability to generate their own power, but traditional utilities have resisted.

Guzman is working to bridge that gap, Riley said. Because the cost of wind and solar farms consist of up-front capital costs and predictable maintenance charges, the projects lend themselves well to long-term, fixed-price contracts.

 

Vermont

Windham Solid Waste Management District members invited to join solar project by Chris Mays, Brattleboro Reformer

 

Virginia

In Virginia, a new push for tougher utility customer advocacy by Jim Pierobon, Southeast Energy News

Wisconsin

Other states balk at hiking utility fixed fee by Thomas Content, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Renewable energy will help drive 21st century economy by Tyler Huebner, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Nationwide Energy Democracy News

As America’s top utility regulatory body overhauls rate design, solar players want more transparency by Julia Pyper, GreenTech Media

Good days ahead for microgrids by Carl Weinschenk, Energy Manager Today

Q&A: How batteries can help personalize our energy system by David J. Unger, Midwest Energy News

Series highlights ‘Stories of Solar’ in the Southeast by Katie C. Ottenweller, Southeast Energy News

Clean energy jobs are exploding in America. Why don’t mainstream reporters know? by Jigar Shah, GreenTech Media

Is this the tipping point for electric cars? by Kyle Stock and Dana Hull, Bloomberg

Solar rooftop revolution fizzles in U.S. on utility pushback by Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg

The rooftop solar business model is under attack on several fronts. The industry relies on so-called net-metering policies, where consumers sell excess power back to local utilities. As solar gets more popular, utilities are pushing back by attacking net-metering programs in multiple states.

New mapping tool showcases clean energy policies and projects by Frank Jossi, Midwest Energy News

States see benefits of ramping up renewable energy targets by Susan Williams Sloan, Morning Consult