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

Report: An Alternative to Electricity Monopolies Enables Communities to Center People and Planet

Date: 19 Feb 2020 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This report examines community choice energy, a policy giving cities and counties the right to purchase energy on behalf of electricity customers. Enabled in 9 states, community choice agencies are revolutionizing the utility model by offering cheaper, cleaner energy that aligns with local goals.… Read More

How Market Power Gives Electric Utilities Political Power

Date: 11 Nov 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the pathway to 100% renewable energy lie electric utilities. Despite some changes to market structure in past decades, most utilities still have enormous market, and political power. How do they wield it, and how does it impact the shift toward cleaner energy?… Read More

From the Archive: South Miami, a Bright Spot for Solar in the Sunshine State – Episode 85 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 11 Sep 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, we revisit our 2018 interview with South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard – who recently used his own solar and storage to go off of the grid for a week. Could distributed solar be the mechanism for a more resilient electric grid?… Read More

Customers Pay When Big Utilities Make Big Errors In Electricity Forecasts

Date: 25 Jul 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

This investigation of electric utility forecasts finds that on average, utilities over-predict electricity demand by 17% over three years. These over-predictions help utilities get permission to build more power plants, which may not be necessary for the actual, deflated electricity demand.… Read More

Power Plant Securitization: Coming to a State Capitol Near You

Date: 13 May 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

As clean energy advocates urge retirement of fossil fuel power plants, securitization has become a billion-dollar word with huge implications for who will pay for and who will own the clean energy future. So, what is securitization, and how does it play a role in a clean energy transition?… Read More

From the Archive: A David and Goliath Fight to Tap World Class Solar — Episode 75 of Local Energy Rules

Date: 25 Apr 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this episode of Local Energy Rules, we revisit an earlier episode from our archives in which ILSR’s Director of Energy Democracy, John Farrell speaks with Mariel Nanasi of New Mexico’s New Energy Economy about how the citizens of Santa Fe could benefit from the economic and environmental benefits of switching to a city-owned utility. … Read More

Why Does One Minnesota Utility Have a Love / Hate Relationship with Community Solar?

Date: 8 Apr 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Xcel Energy hosts the nation’s largest community solar program. But in testimony to the legislature or comments to the media, Minnesota’s largest private monopoly utility often raises concerns about the community solar program’s value compared to building large-scale solar arrays that don’t offer individual customers any significant bill savings. Why?

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