Electric Cooperative, County Collaborate To Expand Fiber-to-the-Home in Rural Virginia

Date: 16 Jun 2017 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Prince George County, Virginia, and its electric cooperative recently entered into an agreement that will allow Prince George Electric Cooperative (PGEC) to offer Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) to certain areas in the county. The arrangement came after a successful pilot project that … Read More

Indiana Eases Easements For Electric Cooperatives, Allows Fiber Infrastructure Investments

Date: 14 Jun 2017 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The State Legislature in Indiana sent SB 478 to Governor Eric Holcomb earlier this session; he recently signed the bill into law. Also known as the Facilitating Internet Broadband Rural Expansion (FIBRE) Act, the new law allows electric cooperatives with … Read More

Rural Solar At Risk As Co-ops Push for Less Oversight

Date: 30 Mar 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Minnesota’s governor recently vetoed anti-renewables legislation that threatens rural solar development, but the bill’s likely resurgence means the state remains among a growing crop of Midwestern states facing the prospect of heavy-handed limitations on solar growth. The Minnesota legislation would … Read More

Arkansas Utility Leads on Energy, Broadband

Date: 2 Mar 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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 renewable electricity generation, large investor-owned utilities — and many rural electric co-ops — have resisted programs to address those needs. Likewise, corporate Internet service providers frequently offer shoddy service at high rates, a particular problem in rural areas with limited competition.… Read More

The Power and Perils of Cooperatives (Episode 12)

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.… Read More

Commentary: Removing Co-op Oversight Jeopardizes Rural Solar

Date: 8 Feb 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Published in Midwest Energy News, this commentary from ILSR energy researchers John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann details a Minnesota legislative action that would reduce oversight of rural electric cooperatives. “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.”… Read More

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