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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The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2018 Update

Date: 12 Mar 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

As investments in renewable energy grow, more states are prioritizing solar. But how much of that solar is coming from smaller, distributed sources that help communities build wealth locally? Using updated data for 2018, we examine state-by-state solar markets and the corresponding share of distributed solar systems to see which states have seen the greatest success in investing in local, clean energy.… Read More

Should Utilities Be Buying New Gas Plants?

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

When a monopoly electric company in Minnesota recently went shopping to buy a new gas plant, we offered our candid assessment to the state’s regulators: affordable renewable energy and energy storage make this a risky bet for the state’s electricity customers.… Read More

Planning for Local Energy and Climate Action in Minneapolis — Episode 70 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 14 Feb 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 Minneapolis City Councilmember Jeremy Schroeder about the city’s unique partnership with its incumbent utility companies and other tools the city can use to address climate change locally.… Read More

Electric Utilities Must Stop Illegally Concealing Public Cost Data

Date: 4 Feb 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Utilities in many states have undercut competition by playing “hide the peanut.” Instead of sharing their avoided cost publicly, as required by Congress and state laws, utilities have hidden them behind a “trade secret” designation.… Read More

Small Minnesota Community Faces David v. Goliath Negotiation for Community Solar — Episode 69 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Date: 1 Feb 2019 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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

Minnesota Utility Tees Up Programs to Support an Electric Vehicle Future

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

In a filing late last year, a Minnesota electric utility put forward two new electric vehicle charging pilots as part of a suite of new policy tools to encourage driving electric. ILSR applauds the efforts, and offers a few suggestions.… Read More

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