All Posts

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

Why Minnesota's Community Solar Program is the Best

John Farrell

February 15, 2019

Minnesota's community solar program hit 513 megawatts in February 2019, nearly half as much capacity as a nuclear power plant!READ MORE


Planning for Local Energy and Climate Action in Minneapolis — Episode 70 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Planning for Local Energy and Climate Action in Minneapolis — Episode 70 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

February 14, 2019

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell speaks with Minneapolis City Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder about the city’s unique partnership with its incumbent utility companies and other tools the city can use to address climate change locally.READ MORE


Electric Utilities Must Stop Illegally Concealing Public Cost Data

Electric Utilities Must Stop Illegally Concealing Public Cost Data

John Farrell

February 4, 2019

Utilities in many states have undercut competition by playing “hide the peanut.” Instead of sharing their avoided cost publicly, as required by Congress and state laws, utilities have hidden them behind a “trade secret” designation.READ MORE


Small Minnesota Community Faces David v. Goliath Negotiation for Community Solar  — Episode 69 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Small Minnesota Community Faces David v. Goliath Negotiation for Community Solar — Episode 69 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

February 1, 2019

What does it take to build a community solar project (with battery storage) in a small town in northern Minnesota when the monopoly wholesale energy company tells your small city-owned utility to “lawyer up”? In this podcast episode, we talk with Bill Schnell of Grand Rapids, Minn., about that community's effort negotiate a project deal with the community's much larger utility supplier.READ MORE


In New Op-Ed: John Farrell on Why California Should Take Over Its Bankrupt Utility

In New Op-Ed: John Farrell on Why California Should Take Over Its Bankrupt Utility

Michael Glassman

January 28, 2019

John Farrell, argues against a potential Pacific Gas & Electric bailout in a commentary for Green Tech Media. John makes the case for publicly owned energy utilities.READ MORE


Voices of 100%: Midwestern City Pressures Incumbent Utility to Clean Up Its Act — Episode 68 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Midwestern City Pressures Incumbent Utility to Clean Up Its Act — Episode 68 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

January 24, 2019

Today, over 100 U.S. cities have made formal commitments to 100 percent renewable energy. In our seventh episode of the Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we highlight how Madison, Wis., is pushing their coal-heavy, investor-owned utility to change its ways. Raj Shukla, chair of the Sustainable Madison Committee, shares lessons for how cities can advance local climate action and renewable power goals by putting pressure on their incumbent utilities.READ MORE


Minnesota Utility Tees Up Programs to Support an Electric Vehicle Future

Minnesota Utility Tees Up Programs to Support an Electric Vehicle Future

John Farrell

January 23, 2019

In a filing late last year, a Minnesota electric utility put forward two new electric vehicle charging pilots as part of a suite of new policy tools to encourage driving electric. ILSR applauds the efforts, and offers a few suggestions.READ MORE


Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update — 2018 Q3

Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? Quarterly Update — 2018 Q3

Marie Donahue

January 16, 2019

Roughly 5 gigawatts of new power generation capacity came online during the third quarter of 2018, as illustrated in a new quarterly update from ILSR’s Energy Democracy Initiative. Our updated chart of new power plant capacity illustrates how growth in natural gas capacity slowed, while new distributed solar and wind saw steady growth.READ MORE


ILSR’s Top 10 Local Energy Posts of 2018

ILSR's Top 10 Local Energy Posts of 2018

John Farrell

January 11, 2019

What did our readers and listeners like best from our Energy Democracy program? Podcasts and solar and storage, oh my!READ MORE


Webinar: Waste Incineration: A Dirty Secret in How States Define Renewable Energy

Webinar: Waste Incineration: A Dirty Secret in How States Define Renewable Energy

Marie Donahue

January 10, 2019

In a recent webinar, ILSR research associate Marie Donahue shared findings from our report, Waste Incineration: A Dirty Secret in How States Define Renewable Energy, highlighting why classifying incineration as a “renewable" form of energy is problematic. Allies from GAIA, a global anti-incineration network, and the national Energy Justice Network also presented.READ MORE


A ‘Year of 100’ for Local, Renewable Energy in 2018 — Episode 67 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

A 'Year of 100' for Local, Renewable Energy in 2018 — Episode 67 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

December 31, 2018

In 2018, numerous states, utilities, and cities made big resolutions to shift to 100 percent clean energy. In a special New Year’s episode of Local Energy Rules, John Farrell and Marie Donahue from ILSR’s Energy Democracy team discuss their take on this “Year of 100.” The two recap the year’s most notable clean energy commitments and what’s on the horizon for local, renewable energy in 2019.READ MORE


Good Public Policy Key to Building a Renewable-Friendly Utility

Good Public Policy Key to Building a Renewable-Friendly Utility

John Farrell

December 19, 2018

How do you build a pro-climate electric utility like Xcel Energy? Here's a helpful timelineREAD MORE


Two Rural Electric Cooperatives Overcome Barriers to Clean, Local Energy — Episode 66 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Two Rural Electric Cooperatives Overcome Barriers to Clean, Local Energy — Episode 66 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

John Farrell

December 13, 2018

In our latest Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell joins leaders from Farmers Electric Cooperative in Iowa and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in New Mexico, to discuss how rural areas can source their power locally and renewably. Rural electric co-op leaders Warren McKenna and Luis Reyes share from experience how local renewable energy provides win-wins for co-ops, member-owners, and their local economy.READ MORE


Three Questions about Xcel Energy’s Landmark Low-Carbon Announcement

Three Questions about Xcel Energy's Landmark Low-Carbon Announcement

John Farrell

December 5, 2018

I join with clean energy advocates across the country in celebrating Xcel Energy's announcement yesterday that it will reduce carbon emissions in its electricity generation by 80% from 2005 to 2030, and to zero by 2050. However, I have three questions about whether the company's actions will match the words.READ MORE


ILSR Submits Critique of Xcel Energy’s Value of Solar Calculation to Minnesota Regulators

ILSR Submits Critique of Xcel Energy’s Value of Solar Calculation to Minnesota Regulators

Marie Donahue

December 3, 2018

In November, ILSR submitted joint comments with Community Power and Cooperative Energy Futures to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commision expressing concerns about Xcel Energy’s 2019 Value of Solar calculation. The comments outline issues with the company’s assumptions and ways to improve them.READ MORE