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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2017

Unlocking Universal Access to Community Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/unlocking-universal-access-to-community-solar/

Community solar development is growing nationwide as utilities, recognizing market demand, think bigger than pilot-scale projects. A recent forecast from Greentech Media Research predicted 410 megawatts (MW) of community solar will be installed this year — nearly double the 218 MW that went online in 2016. Community Solar Outlook: Third Party-Led vs. Utility-Led Markets These… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States, Independent Business, The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2017

Breaking Through Partisanship: Left-Right-Local – Episode 14 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/breaking-through-partisanship-left-right-local-episode-14-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this episode, Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews John Farrell, Stacy Mitchell, and David Morris, directors of our Energy Democracy, Community-Scaled Economies, and Public Good initiatives, respectively. The group discusses the nature of local policies and politics versus the national-level fights and hyper-partisanship. Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 15, 2017

Video: A Solar Leader Emerges in Rural Iowa

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/video-solar-rural-iowa/

It seems counter-intuitive that a conservative farming community in southeastern Iowa is home to some of the most expansive solar generation in the U.S. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the area served by Farmers Electric Cooperative, the rural utility whose enterprising leader, Warren McKenna, saw renewables as a gateway to economic vitality. Last summer,… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 13, 2017

Pueblo Targets All-Renewables Future To Bolster Local Economy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/pueblo-targets-all-renewables-future-to-bolster-local-economy/

Pueblo, Colorado, last month became the first city to commit to an all-renewables future since President Donald Trump took office. The new administration continues to cast significant doubt over the future of federal policies designed to promote clean energy and distributed generation, virtually ensuring the best energy policy will sprout from state and local leadership…. Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 6, 2017

Municipal Utility Offers Springboard for Minnesota City’s Energy Vision – Episode 42 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/municipal-utility-offers-springboard-for-minnesota-citys-energy-vision-episode-42-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Sprouting from southeastern Minnesota farm country, the city of Rochester is an unassuming mini-metropolis best known for its world-famous Mayo Clinic. But the city is also home to the state’s largest municipal utility and an ambitious plan to ramp up renewable generation, a one-two punch aimed at galvanizing the local economy. A 2015 mayoral proclamation… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 2, 2017

Arkansas Utility Leads on Energy, Broadband

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/arkansas-utility-leads-on-energy-broadband/

This article was co-written with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative research associate, Hannah Trostle, and this piece is cross-posted on MuniNetworks.org. Ouachita Electric Cooperative, nestled deep in south-central Arkansas, is an unlikely innovator in a pair of industries struggling to adapt to shifting market dynamics: electricity and broadband. Despite rising demand for energy efficiency and… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 1, 2017

Energy Democracy in 4 Powerful Steps

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/energy-democracy-in-4-steps/

There’s no question that the energy system is undergoing change. One need look no further than the 1 million solar rooftops in the U.S. or — for the wonky — the source of new power capacity in the U.S. over the past 15 years. In 2003, just 20% of new electric capacity came from renewable… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 23, 2017

The Power and Perils of Cooperatives – Episode 12 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-power-and-perils-of-cooperatives-episode-12-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this episode, Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Hannah Trostle and Karlee Weinmann, Research Associates for the Community Broadband Networks and Energy Democracy initiatives, respectively. The three discuss the cooperative model of ownership and how this model can enable investment in gigabit Internet connections for their member-owners, but also how they are subject to a low participation rates in their elections. Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 8, 2017

Commentary: Removing Co-op Oversight Jeopardizes Rural Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/commentary-removing-co-op-oversight-jeopardizes-rural-solar/

Midwest Energy News – February 8, 2017

By John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann

A plan floated by Minnesota lawmakers to exempt rural electric cooperatives from virtually all regulatory oversight would allow these utilities to restrict development of local solar power, even where their member-owners support renewable energy. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Feb 3, 2017

Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/thanks-to-co-op-small-iowa-town-goes-big-on-solar/

It’s hard to imagine a place more bucolic than the rural farming communities clustered around Kalona, Iowa — the kind of place that for generations has embodied conservative, blue-collar values woven throughout rural America. Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless… Continue reading