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Power Plant Securitization: Coming to a State Capitol Near You

Power Plant Securitization: Coming to a State Capitol Near You

John Farrell

May 13, 2019

As clean energy advocates urge retirement of fossil fuel power plants, securitization has become a billion-dollar word with huge implications for who will pay for and who will own the clean energy future. So, what is securitization, and how does it play a role in a clean energy transition?READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Youth Push Small Minnesota Town to Act on Changing Climate and Invest in Local, Renewable Energy — Episode 76 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Youth Push Small Minnesota Town to Act on Changing Climate and Invest in Local, Renewable Energy — Episode 76 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

May 9, 2019

More than 100 U.S. cities have now set goals to transition to 100 percent renewable energy, but how are they working to make these goals a reality? In a new episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we feature the small town of Grand Marais, Minn., and the strategies it is using to achieve its ambitious local, clean energy commitment.READ MORE


Minnesota’s Solar Gardens: the Status and Benefits of Community Solar

Minnesota's Solar Gardens: the Status and Benefits of Community Solar

John Farrell

May 6, 2019

Minnesota is the national leader in community solar, with 208 projects around the state, more than a third of all community solar projects in the U.S. The state’s community solar policy is the best, making it easy to develop and subscribe to solar power. Read more about the benefits for customers, workers, and landowners in a new report from Vote Solar, MnSEIA, and the Institute for Local Self Reliance.READ MORE


Minnesota Community Solar Saves All Utility Customers Money

Minnesota Community Solar Saves All Utility Customers Money

John Farrell

May 3, 2019

Despite its pride in having the nation’s largest community solar program––shown by the massive poster on its headquarters front doors (the above photo)––Xcel Energy can often be caught complaining (erroneously) that utility-owned solar would be more cost-effective. In the following analysis, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance explains why Minnesota’s community solar program has actually saved Xcel Energy customers millions of dollars already.READ MORE


From the Archive: A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar — Episode 75 of Local Energy Rules

From the Archive: A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar — Episode 75 of Local Energy Rules

Elizabeth Crain

April 25, 2019

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, we revisit an earlier episode from our archives in which ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell speaks with Mariel Nanasi of New Mexico’s New Energy Economy about how the citizens of Santa Fe could benefit from the economic and environmental benefits of switching to a city-owned utility.READ MORE


Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

Why Minnesota's Community Solar Program is the Best

John Farrell

April 18, 2019

Minnesota's community solar program hit 532 megawatts in April 2019, nearly enough to power more than 100,000 homes each year or about half as much capacity as a typical nuclear power plant!READ MORE


Why Garbage Incinerators Are A Bad Deal For Communities — Episode 74 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Why Garbage Incinerators Are A Bad Deal For Communities — Episode 74 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

April 11, 2019

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell speaks with colleagues Marie Donahue and Neil Seldman about the harmful impacts of burning trash to generate electricity. The discussion digs into ILSR’s late-2018 report Waste Incineration: A Dirty Secret in How States Define Renewable Energy and passage of the Baltimore Clean Air Act, a policy which will help shut down the city’s highly polluting waste incinerator.READ MORE


Why Does One Minnesota Utility Have a Love / Hate Relationship with Community Solar?

Why Does One Minnesota Utility Have a Love / Hate Relationship with Community Solar?

John Farrell

April 8, 2019

Xcel Energy hosts the nation’s largest community solar program. But in testimony to the legislature or comments to the media, Minnesota’s largest private monopoly utility often raises concerns about the community solar program’s value compared to building large-scale solar arrays that don’t offer individual customers any significant bill savings. Why?READ MORE


Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Annual Update — 2018

Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Annual Update — 2018

Marie Donahue

April 4, 2019

New power plant capacity expanded across the country in 2018, but steady growth in local, small-scale solar and other renewables was overshadowed by a significant jump in new gas plants. Our latest annual and quarterly updates illustrate these trends and provides a few timely examples of how communities can keep utilities accountable to clean energy commitments, rein in new centralized fossil fuel infrastructure, and support local, renewable energy, instead.READ MORE


Video: Accountability and Ownership Matter for Puerto Rico’s Future Grid (John Farrell presentation)

Video: Accountability and Ownership Matter for Puerto Rico's Future Grid (John Farrell presentation)

John Farrell

April 2, 2019

The Black Start conference in March 2019 convened on- and off-island energy experts to discuss whether Puerto Rico can overcome a colonial past for a greener grid. It happened as the island’s governor aims to privatize the (corrupt) public utility and as new legislation recently passed to require 100% renewable energy. ILSR Co-Director John Farrell presented.READ MORE


A Massachusetts Town Realizes a Community Vision to Transition from Coal to Sol — Episode 73 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

A Massachusetts Town Realizes a Community Vision to Transition from Coal to Sol — Episode 73 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

March 28, 2019

In this episode of the Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell interviews Lena Entin about an inspiring and successful community-driven campaign in Holyoke, Mass., to shut down an aging coal plant operated by one of the world’s largest multinational electric utility companies. The two discuss the campaign’s efforts to replace the dirty plant with clean energy to improve health outcomes for the community and provide a just transition for the power plant’s workers.READ MORE


Comparing 2019 and 2018 Community Power Scorecard Rankings

Comparing 2019 and 2018 Community Power Scorecard Rankings

Marie Donahue

March 22, 2019

Earlier this year, ILSR released its 2019 Community Power State Scorecard, revealing the best and worst states for local clean energy across the country. 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 more to do to create a policy landscape that supports distributed energy.READ MORE


Which Regions and States are Leading in Local Clean Energy?

Which Regions and States are Leading in Local Clean Energy?

Marie Donahue

March 22, 2019

Released earlier this year, ILSR’s 2019 Community Power State Scorecard revealed new rankings of states that support local clean energy. How do states perform when compared to their neighbors? We explore this question to give advocates, lawmakers, and communities insights into how to improve state policies that enable local clean energy.READ MORE


The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2018 Update

The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2018 Update

Marie Donahue

March 12, 2019

As investments in renewable energy grow, more states are prioritizing solar. But how much of that solar is coming from smaller, distributed sources that help communities build wealth locally? Using updated data for 2018, we examine state-by-state solar markets and the corresponding share of distributed solar systems to see which states have seen the greatest success in investing in local, clean energy.READ MORE


Don’t-Miss Opportunity for Local Choice in Landmark Carbon-Free Bills — Episode 72 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Don't-Miss Opportunity for Local Choice in Landmark Carbon-Free Bills — Episode 72 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

March 8, 2019

In New Mexico, proposed climate legislation would give one of the state’s monopoly utilities a huge handout, leaving customers holding the bag. In a new episode of Local Energy Rules, Mariel Nanasi of the New Energy Economy speaks with John Farrell about this bill setting a dangerous precedent and the alternative opportunity to support local choice and build wealth in New Mexico communities, instead.READ MORE