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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


Voices of 100%: Boulder Takes Bold Steps to Support Local Renewable Energy — Episode 71 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Voices of 100%: Boulder Takes Bold Steps to Support Local Renewable Energy — Episode 71 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Marie Donahue

March 6, 2019

Over 100 U.S. cities have now set goals to transition to 100 percent renewable energy. In a new episode of our Voices of 100% series from Local Energy Rules, we feature the city of Boulder, Colo., and the strategies it is using to make its ambitious local, clean energy goal a reality.READ MORE


Why ILSR’s 2019 Community Power Scorecard Matters

Why ILSR's 2019 Community Power Scorecard Matters

John Farrell

February 27, 2019

With 100 U.S. cities pledging to reach 100 percent renewable energy, the 2019 Community Power Scorecard matters more than ever, grading states whether their energy policies help or hurt cities make their ambitious clean energy goals.READ MORE


Should Utilities Be Buying New Gas Plants?

Should Utilities Be Buying New Gas Plants?

John Farrell

February 25, 2019

When a monopoly electric company in Minnesota recently went shopping to buy a new gas plant, we offered our candid assessment to the state’s regulators: affordable renewable energy and energy storage make this a risky bet for the state's electricity customers.READ MORE


The 2019 Community Power Scorecard

The 2019 Community Power Scorecard

Marie Donahue

February 21, 2019

In the 2019 Community Power Scorecard, four states excelled, 11 states and the District of Columbia saw above average scores, 15 were mediocre, and 20 states received failing grades at enabling individuals and communities to take charge of their energy futures.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