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Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

Why Minnesota's Community Solar Program is the Best

April 23, 2018

John Farrell

Minnesota's community solar program hit a record 300 megawatts of operational capacity in March 2018 and is wildly successful because it offers tangible, financial benefits to subscribers, allows third party project development and ownership, and has no cap on program capacity.READ MORE


Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof?  — 2017 Update

Of New Power Generation, How Much is on the Roof? -- 2017 Update

April 19, 2018

Marie Donahue

The U.S. experienced relatively sluggish gains in total new power plant capacity in 2017, when compared to 2016, but it also saw another, more positive outcome: a notable surge in distributed solar. Using the latest available national data on power generation, this most recent look at data on annual and quarterly electricity generation nationwide from the Energy Democracy Initiative at ILSR illustrates how small-scale, distributed solar energy stacks up against its big, fossil fuel and utility-scale renewable energy competitors.READ MORE


South Miami: A Bright Spot for Solar in Sunshine State — Episode 53 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

South Miami: A Bright Spot for Solar in Sunshine State — Episode 53 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

April 11, 2018

Marie Donahue

What can a small city do to advance clean energy locally, if its state commissioners and legislators are not willing to take their jobs regulating monopoly electric utilities seriously? John Farrell interviews Philip Stoddard, the pioneering, fourth-term mayor of South Miami, Florida, who has been sticking up to the state’s incumbent utility, in order to make the state live up to its billing as the Sunshine State.READ MORE


Presentation: Iowa Town Looks to City-Owned Utility

Presentation: Iowa Town Looks to City-Owned Utility

April 4, 2018

John Farrell

ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell, provided a presentation to a forum of Decorah Power, the local advocacy organization favoring city utility ownership to discuss several advantages from local ownership. First, there’s an abundant local wind and solar energy resource. Second, Decorah isn’t alone, and over 2,000 other cities chart their own course with municipal ownership. Finally, getting power locally returns more dollars to the local economy.READ MORE


Leaked Draft Bill Confirms Xcel Energy’s Priority for Profits Over Community Solar

Leaked Draft Bill Confirms Xcel Energy’s Priority for Profits Over Community Solar

March 30, 2018

Marie Donahue

A newly-released parody video makes Xcel Energy’s top priority clear: maximize profits for shareholders, even if that comes at the expense of the country’s most successful community solar program. Supporting analysis of a leaked draft bill from Xcel lobbyists illustrates this further and points out the company’s nasty habit of trying to make its own rules.READ MORE


Video: Rochester Seeks 100% Renewable — Local Power for the Local Economy

Video: Rochester Seeks 100% Renewable -- Local Power for the Local Economy

March 27, 2018

Nick Stumo-Langer

Why should a city seeking 100% renewable energy focus on local generation? ILSR's Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell, provides a short presentation to a forum in Rochester, MN, with three reasons.READ MORE


States Agree: Third-Party Ownership Enables Distributed Solar, But What’s Next?

States Agree: Third-Party Ownership Enables Distributed Solar, But What’s Next?

March 23, 2018

Marie Donahue

Compared with previous rankings of solar capacity, do states that allow third-party leases and power purchase agreements still dominate? The answer is yes, especially for distributed solar capacity. Every state in the top 10 in rooftop and small-scale solar still allows for third-party ownership.READ MORE


ILSR Video Parody Lampoons Xcel Energy’s Ask for “Blank Check” in Minnesota Legislature

ILSR Video Parody Lampoons Xcel Energy's Ask for "Blank Check" in Minnesota Legislature

March 16, 2018

Nick Stumo-Langer

To honor Xcel Energy’s successful introduction of legislation to give itself a “blank check” for its anticipated Prairie Island nuclear power plant retrofit, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Community Power today released a video to tell the truth about what’s really in the “red box” that’s prevalent in Xcel’s widespread televised advertisements. For more information about Xcel’s power plant bill and where decisions will be made about it, visit ilsr.org.READ MORE


Getting San Diego Ready for 100% Renewable Energy — Episode 52 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Getting San Diego Ready for 100% Renewable Energy — Episode 52 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

March 14, 2018

John Farrell

More than 50 U.S. Cities have made commitments to reach 100% renewable electricity, but how do communities build the political will to adopt such goals, and how do they plan to meet them? John Farrell interviews Nicole Capretz of the Climate Action Campaign to learn how San Diego's community choice program will move them toward 100% renewable electricity.READ MORE


Solar Surprise: Small-Scale Solar a Better Deal than Big

Solar Surprise: Small-Scale Solar a Better Deal than Big

March 9, 2018

John Farrell

Conventional wisdom suggests bigger is better for solar energy, but convention is wrong. ILSR builds on its 2016 report to show how small solar is cost-effective, especially if a community wants to capture the biggest value.READ MORE


The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard

March 2, 2018

John Farrell

Each year, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance provides a score for each state's energy policies based on how they help or hinder local clean energy action. In 2018, 21 states had a failing grade, 17 were mediocre, 11 had a passing grade, and just 2 excelled at enabling residents to act individually and collectively to take charge of their energy future.READ MORE


Utility Proposes Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot, But Will Anyone Opt In for No Benefit?

Utility Proposes Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot, But Will Anyone Opt In for No Benefit?

March 1, 2018

John Farrell

A Minnesota utility proposes a new program allowing electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles at night for a lower price, but monthly maintenance fees mean drivers won't save any money. ILSR provides comments to the state's Public Utilities Commission illustrating the problem and proposing a solution.READ MORE


SCANA-Dominion Energy Utility Merger a Risky Deal for S.C. Ratepayers

SCANA-Dominion Energy Utility Merger a Risky Deal for S.C. Ratepayers

February 14, 2018

John Farrell

As monopoly utilities merge and grow bigger, they wield more power. This commentary advises South Carolina regulators, legislators, and residents to be cautious of a proposed takeover of SCANA by investor-owned utility Dominion Energy.READ MORE


Colorado State Senator Steve Fenberg on Local Power Versus Corporate Power (Episode 39)

Colorado State Senator Steve Fenberg on Local Power Versus Corporate Power (Episode 39)

February 8, 2018

Nick Stumo-Langer

Steve Fenberg (D-Boulder) talks with John Farrell about his history as a renewable energy activist and local control advocate and how he translates that work into his role in the state legislature.READ MORE


Community Solar and Value of Solar Under Review in Minnesota

Community Solar and Value of Solar Under Review in Minnesota

February 2, 2018

John Farrell

With a nation-leading community solar program, changes to the compensation scheme for participants shouldn't be taken lightly. ILSR offered these comments to the MN Public Utilities Commission in February 2018 about preserving high values for the state's "value of solar" calculation.READ MORE