Why Utilities in Minnesota and Other States Need to Plan for More Competition

Date: 22 Jul 2020 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This report explores the undercounting of customer-sited and non-utility solar in utility distributed resource forecasting. It finds that Xcel Energy’s forecasts for distributed solar in Minnesota are strikingly low.… Read More

Why it’s Short-Sighted to do Centralized Planning in a Decentralizing Electricity Grid

Date: 11 May 2020 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

With financial rewards tied to building big, utilities overlook distributed energy resources like rooftop solar. This essay, written to advise utility regulators in Michigan, has implications for utility resource planning nationwide.… Read More

Utility Regulators Oversee Planning for a Robust, Inclusive Grid in Minnesota

Date: 27 Apr 2020 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In these comments, John Farrell outlines how Xcel Energy should improve its 2019 Integrated Distribution Plan to best serve the needs of Minnesota customers: increased access to distributed energy generation and a fair analysis of the benefits these systems provide to the grid.… Read More

Does Energy Democracy Have Meaning in a Pandemic?

Date: 16 Mar 2020 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

I’m writing this piece from my living room couch, my kids out of school and doing a “home school” schedule while my wife and I try to work. With that in mind, here are a few thoughts about how decentralized and democratized energy systems might help us weather things like the current COVID-19 pandemic.… Read More

Using Disaster to Build a New, (d)emocratic Energy Paradigm — Episode 78 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 6 Jun 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this May 2019 interview, ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy John Farrell, and Ingrid Vila – an engineer and director of Cambio, a Puerto Rico based nonprofit – discussed the enormous opportunity, and the pitfalls the island must avoid, to seize the island’s chance for energy democracy.… Read More

A Local First Approach to Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Electricity System — Episode 77 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 23 May 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, Energy Democracy Initiative director John Farrell speaks with Marcel Castro Sitiriche about the challenges Puerto Rico faces in building a local, clean, and resilient energy system in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.… Read More

Minnesota Community Solar Saves All Utility Customers Money

Date: 3 May 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Despite its pride in having the nation’s largest community solar program––shown by the massive poster on its headquarters front doors (the above photo)––Xcel Energy can often be caught complaining (erroneously) that utility-owned solar would be more cost-effective. In the following analysis, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance explains why Minnesota’s community solar program has actually saved Xcel Energy customers millions of dollars already.… Read More

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