What does it take to build a community solar project (with battery storage) in a small town in northern Minnesota when the monopoly wholesale energy company tells your small city-owned utility to “lawyer up”? In this podcast episode, we talk with Bill Schnell of Grand Rapids, Minn., about that community’s effort negotiate a project deal with the community’s much larger utility supplier.… Read More
In an October 2018 op-ed featured in PV Magazine, John Farrell, ILSR Co-Director and Director of the Energy Democracy Initiative, argues how important shifts in both technology and decision-making are transforming the energy sector.… Read More
What happens to an electric utility when its big bets on new power plants are undercut by customers producing their own power from solar and storing it in cost-effective batteries?
Hundreds of utility power plants could become stranded assets if electric customers pursue these affordable alternatives to utility provided power, undercutting a century of the traditional “bigger is better” electric utility business model. The latest report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance details how battery storage literally and figuratively reverses the grid’s power flow and puts customers in charge. It offers policymakers, utilities, and individuals a roadmap of rules to capture this opportunity for energy democracy and save everyone money.… Read More
For 100 years, most decisions about the U.S. electric grid have been made at the top by electric utilities, public regulators, and grid operators. That era has ended, and our report details how the collective impact of individual consumers installing solar-plus-storage reverses the flow of power on the electricity grid.… Read More
The webinar –– Wednesday, July 18th @ 2 p.m. CT –– will cover the powerful upending of the electricity market structure on the doorstep, the implications for centrally planned power systems, and the policies that align market rules with the democratizing power of solar and energy storage.… Read More
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
In a landmark study of Minnesota’s electric grid, the Smarter Grid study found that it’s cost-effective to replace fossil fuel energy sources with wind and solar to dramatically lower carbon pollution from electricity generation. But within this bigger finding was … Read More