Hawaii’s Governor signed the Community-Based Renewable Energy Program in 2015, requiring energy utilities to file a proposed community-based energy tariff with the Public Utilities Commission. This post summarizes the policy and compiles additional Hawaii community solar resources.… Read More
The first-in-the-nation city-utility partnership has been framed in Minneapolis, but can the city and its utilities really deliver substantive movement toward an equitable energy economy in the next two years?
It all depends on the workplan, and the grassroots team at Minneapolis Energy Options has delivered.… Read More
In the past month, the city of Minneapolis and its two investor-owned utilities adopted the nation’s first clean energy partnership, with a wide range of goals including meeting the city’s ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. How did it happen and what can it accomplish? The following 8-minute video from one of the “lead rabble rousers” … Read More
Late last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, the Public Utilities Commission decision also highlighted the shortcomings of the legislature’s distributed solar policy adopted in 2013. What was missing? Minnesota’s increasingly well-known “value of solar” … Read More
For over 100 years, the American economy has been fueled by enormous expansion of fossil fuel energy. It has emitted a disproportionate share of its environmental impact (too much) and economic rewards (too few) on those less fortunate. More than any 21st century energy source, solar can power an equitable and environmentally sound energy future. Solar … Read More
On April 7, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission resoundingly rejected (click the link for an annotated ruling) a severely lacking community solar gardens proposal from Xcel Energy and required substantial improvements for the utility’s revised filing. The regulatory smack-down means a promising community solar market for Minnesota (scroll down for the infographic version). The … Read More
Solar advocates were popping corks when a New Year’s Eve ruling by an administrative law judge in Minnesota said that distributed solar arrays were a more cost-effective resource than natural gas to meet Xcel Energy’s peak power needs. The energy media were aflutter for weeks, but many missed the bigger significance. If solar trumps gas for … Read More
For years, the only effective way to go solar was to have tens of thousands of dollars and a sunny roof. Investing in solar was nearly impossible. But a couple years ago, a new notion called crowdfunding got its start, and California-Based Mosaic was on the forefront. Its crowdfunding program allows people to pool their resources, large or small, to build community-based solar installations. It’s not about charity, either. Mosaic’s pioneering crowdfunding effort is letting people across the country earn a modest return on their solar investment and putting clean local power on rooftops everywhere.
We spoke with Mosaic president Billy Parish via Skype in mid-February about the potential for crowdfunding to give most Americans a chance to invest in renewable energy.… Read More