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Article, ILSR Press Room, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 16, 2013

Watch: On WCCO, ILSR Director of Democratic Energy Discusses Xcel Energy Rate Hike

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/wcco-ilsr-director-democratic-energy-discusses-xcel-energy-rate-hike/

“They need some more support from the Legislature in having a critical eye,” said John Farrell, of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “I think the laws that they operate under don’t give them a lot of flexibility to question…the base assumptions that Xcel is bringing to the table.” Check out the 2-minute video clip   Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 8, 2013

Debating the Value of Solar – Pt. 2 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/debating-solar-pt-2-minnesotas-process/

It was an unseasonably sunny day for part two of Minnesota’s value of solar stakeholder process: participation day. The leadoff was the Department of Commerce’s proposed approach to a value of solar methodology.  Shown below, it set some broad principles the Department intends to use in the value of solar formula it develops:    … Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 27, 2013

Setting the Value of Solar – Part 1 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/setting-solar-part-1-minnesotas-process/

What is solar worth to a utility? It’s an issue of national debate, but one unexpected state – Minnesota – is engaging a formal process for determining the methodology for setting the value of solar. As the first multi-utility process, it’s likely to set a precedent nationwide for what the “value of solar” will mean… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 27, 2013

Essential Elements in the Value of Solar

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

Comments to the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources Re: Value of Solar Stakeholder Process From: Institute for Local Self-Reliance    John Farrell, Director of Democratic Energy Date: September 20, 2013 Background The value of solar component of the state’s new solar energy standard must be considered in the context of the state’s energy goals, expressed… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 16, 2013

Utility Agrees: (Their) Solar Should Supplant Natural Gas

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/utility-agrees-their-solar-supplant-natural-gas/

Five months ago, one of the country’s ten largest electric utilities told regulators in Minnesota that it needed three new natural gas power plants to handle peak energy demand.  This week, the same company’s Colorado division announced plans to use more solar power because it is cost competitive with gas. Maybe they need a memo… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Aug 12, 2013

Minneapolis could excel beyond Xcel

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minneapolis-excel-xcel/

A lot of folks came to a hearing at Minneapolis City Hall eight days ago to oppose a ballot measure authorizing the city to form a municipal utility. Mostly they argued that the status quo is sufficient. I’d like to ask if they understand the question. This commentary was originally published by the Star Tribune… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 6 Comments | Updated on Jul 15, 2013

Is Solar Cheaper Than Grid Electricity? Yes. And No.

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/solar-cheaper-grid-electricity-yes-no/

The word “parity” is to the solar advocate as the word “abracadabra” is to the magician.  Through it, all things are possible.  But there’s really two kinds of solar parity with electricity prices, and the difference is significant. Take this article from Renewable Energy World last month.  It claims that solar installations in New Mexico… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on May 3, 2013

Watch: 5 Barriers To and Solutions for Community Renewable Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/5-barriers-solutions-community-renewable-energy/

Community renewable energy has significant political and economic benefits, but is often hindered by five major barriers. Watch this vividly illustrated presentation to learn how communities can overcome the barriers and advance more local renewable energy. ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell gave this presentation as part of a Sustainable Economies Law Center webinar on April… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2013

Soft Costs Make a Bigger Difference as Solar Gets Cheap

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/soft-costs-bigger-difference-solar-cheap/

Last week’s graphic on the impact of local permitting on the cost of solar power was a big hit, so here’s a follow up on “soft costs,” the expenses in a solar installation (including permitting) that are not the solar module.  The chart compares the soft costs in the U.S. to Germany (thanks to LBNL’s… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 5 Comments | Updated on Apr 17, 2013

New Peak Power Capacity Should Use Solar, Not Gas

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/peak-power-capacity-solar-gas/

It’s parochial, since I’m a Minnesota resident, but I just can’t stand that our state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, is planning to use ratepayer money to buy three new natural gas fired peaking plants instead of a) installing solar power or b) supporting the proposed solar energy standard.  Share the graphic below if you agree:… Continue reading