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utility substation - Tyler Wilson via Flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 25, 2016

Pursuing Grid Modernization in a Monopoly Model

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/pursuing-grid-modernization-in-a-monopoly-model/

How can a state modernize its electric system when it’s in the hands of vertically integrated monopolies? We offer some thoughts via its comments on a Grid Modernization docket being reviewed by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Background: the grid modernization docket is a relatively new requirement, asking the state’s largest investor-owned utility to explain… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 14, 2016

ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update (2015 Q4)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsrs-distributed-solar-capacity-quarterly-update-2015-q4/

It was the biggest quarter ever for solar, which supplied one-third of over 7.3 gigawatts of new power plant capacity added to the grid. Distributed solar kept pace, with 832 megawatts (AC) added in the last three months of 2015! Important note: in prior versions of this update I made an error, forgetting to covert… Continue reading

Rural Farmland in America
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 11, 2016

Are Rural Electric Cooperatives Driving or Just Dabbling in Community Solar?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/rural-electric-and-cooperatives-community-solar/

Electric cooperatives, member-owned organizations that sell electricity to those within their service area, are perhaps the nation’s largest group of utilities that could champion clean, local power. They tend to cover enormous swaths of the most rural territory, often with excellent wind and solar resources. In one manner of renewable energy, cooperatives are leading the… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Mar 3, 2016

Report: Mighty Microgrids

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-mighty-microgrids/

Communities all over the country are finding ways to break the macro barriers to microgrids. As we flip from a top-down to bottom-up grid management structure, major policy barriers must be lifted in order to expand energy democracy to customers and producers. DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT   Executive Summary The electric grid is no longer… Continue reading

guy with knife and kid - flickr Ross Catrow v2
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 28, 2016

New Fossil Fuel Power Plants: Assets or Liabilities?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/new-fossil-fuel-power-plants-assets-or-liabilities/

In any conversation about the transition to a renewable energy economy, solar and wind advocates will eventually come up against the term “stranded assets.” It’s a misleading term, usually deployed in defense of legacy fossil fuel power plants (and their owners). But as times change, “stranded assets” can be redefined and in the next few… Continue reading

randy wilson
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2016

Just How Democratic are Rural Electric Cooperatives?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/just-how-democratic-are-rural-electric-cooperatives/

Randy Wilson knew you had to start somewhere. Knocking on doors and hanging around retail store parking lots, he and volunteers from the citizen group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth collected signatures. After weeks of holding out clipboards, they collected the more than 500 signatures needed to run for the board of the Jackson Energy Cooperative… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 14, 2015

ILSR’s Distributed Solar Capacity Quarterly Update

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ilsrs-distributed-solar-capacity-quarterly-update/

Renewable energy continues to dominate new power plant capacity and distributed generation has contributed an increasingly large share. We’ve been tracking this phenomenon since April of 2014, and, finally, the Energy Information Administration has recognized the prevalence of distributed solar and is going to report estimates of this added capacity in their monthly updates. This… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Rule filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Nov 4, 2015

Updated: States Supporting Virtual Net Metering

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/virtual-net-metering/

Net metering is a common distributed renewable energy policy in the United States, allowing individuals to “turn back” their meter (and reduce their electric bill) by generating on-site electricity. But utility accounting systems typically prevent people from sharing the output from a single, common solar or wind project. Virtual (or group or neighborhood) net metering… Continue reading

Hawai'i at the Energy Crossroads
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 6, 2015

Report: Hawai’i at the Energy Crossroads

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-renewable-hawaii/

UNDER THE SPECTER OF A MAINLAND UTILITY TAKEOVER, ISLANDERS MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN A LEGACY OF LARGE CENTRALIZED POWER OR A BURGEONING NETWORK OF DISTRIBUTED ENERGY Matt Grimley and John Farrell October 2015 DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT Executive Summary On the one hand: Sky-high electricity prices. A 20th century electricity system burning fuel oil and controlled… Continue reading

solar surge in new power plant capacity
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 11, 2015

Ever Greater Share of New Power from Distributed Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/ever-greater-share-of-new-power-from-distributed-solar/

Second quarter data from the Energy Information Administration and the Solar Energy Industries Association came out this week and distributed solar continues its surging growth. Over 650 megawatts (MW) of new distributed solar capacity was grid connected between April and June, 10% of new power plant capacity. Even more impressive than the steady growth each… Continue reading