The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2017 Update

Date: 14 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Across the country, more states than ever are making solar energy—and distributed solar at that—a key part of their energy mix. But where have these gains been greatest, and what are the economic implications for residents from one state to the next? To answer these questions, an updated analysis of solar markets, using annual data from 2017, takes a closer look at the state-by-state share of distributed solar, highlighting which states have taken the lead to prioritize small-scale, local energy systems.… Read More

Supporting Affordable Residential Access to Community Solar in Minnesota

Date: 3 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In April, ILSR submitted comments in support of affordable residential access to community solar for review by Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission. These comments concerned a proposed residential adder framework outlined as part of the state’s community solar program and Minnesota Department of Commerce Value of Solar calculation. We argue that, in a recent analysis submitted to the Commission by Xcel Energy, the utility exaggerated costs likely to be incurred under this new framework. Our comments support those made by allies such as Cooperative Energy Futures and advocate for adder calculations that ensure financeability and broad participation among residential subscribers to the state’s community solar program.… Read More

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

Date: 30 Mar 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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

The 2018 Community Power State Scorecard

Date: 2 Mar 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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

Community Solar and Value of Solar Under Review in Minnesota

Date: 2 Feb 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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

Video: Minnesota SEIA — Gateway to Solar Presentation

Date: 15 Jan 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In September of 2017, ILSR Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell spoke in front of the Minnesota Solar Energy Industry Association’s Midwest Gateway to Solar event. In his talk he spoke about the importance of sound renewable energy policies that enable growth in locally-owned solar energy and how massive electric utilities are doing their best to harm locally-owned renewable energy like solar.… Read More

Five Ways Co-ops Are Countering Corporate Power in Cities

Date: 3 Nov 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, MuniNetworks, Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This op-ed was originally published in Next City on October 31st, 2017. As local economies suffer from market concentration in economic sectors ranging from retail to banking, cooperatives across industries are helping to strengthen communities and keep resources local. This … Read More

Minnesota Has the Best Community Solar Program — Here’s Why

Date: 30 Aug 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Our own Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell penned this article for MinnPost‘s Community Voices section about the benefits of the state’s community solar program, here’s a sample: “As a long-time advocate for community-scale investment in renewable energy, I’m often asked about community solar: a burgeoning part of the solar industry and a model for its growth.”… Read More

Minnesota Utility Takes Baby Steps Toward Broadening Community Solar Access

Date: 22 Aug 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Minnesota’s largest utility is planning a pilot community solar program specifically targeted to low-income customers, an important first step in bridging significant gaps in accessing the benefits of the state’s burgeoning clean energy economy. Xcel Energy filed a program outline … Read More

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