Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

Date: 18 Jun 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Minnesota’s community solar program hit a record 300 megawatts of operational capacity in March 2018 and is wildly successful because it offers tangible, financial benefits to subscribers, allows third party project development and ownership, and has no cap on program capacity.… Read More

Minnesota Regulators Schedule Hearings on Frontier Communications’ Anti-Competition Actions

Date: 7 Jun 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

National ISPs with millions of customers are some of the most hated companies in the U.S. Poor customer service, contract tricks, and a refusal to upgrade services are only a few of the common complaints from subscribers who are often trapped due to lack of competition. Frontier Communications is proudly carrying on that tradition of deficiency in Minnesota. In fact, the company’s excellence at skullduggery has drawn the attention of the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC), which launched an investigation into the service quality of Frontier this spring.… Read More

Connectivity Purgatory: Frontier Communications Delays Local Provider’s Fast Network

Date: 1 Jun 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

It took an extra year for a community in Minnesota to finally see high-quality Internet service. Balaton spent an extra year in connectivity purgatory while Frontier delayed a much-needed project. To learn more, we connected with the Balaton and Marshall Economic Development Director Tara Onken and Woodstock Communications Vice President and General Manager Terry Nelson.… Read More

The State(s) of Distributed Solar — 2017 Update

Date: 14 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Across the country, more states than ever are making solar energy—and distributed solar at that—a key part of their energy mix. But where have these gains been greatest, and what are the economic implications for residents from one state to the next? To answer these questions, an updated analysis of solar markets, using annual data from 2017, takes a closer look at the state-by-state share of distributed solar, highlighting which states have taken the lead to prioritize small-scale, local energy systems.… Read More

Supporting Affordable Residential Access to Community Solar in Minnesota

Date: 3 May 2018 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In April, ILSR submitted comments in support of affordable residential access to community solar for review by Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission. These comments concerned a proposed residential adder framework outlined as part of the state’s community solar program and Minnesota Department of Commerce Value of Solar calculation. We argue that, in a recent analysis submitted to the Commission by Xcel Energy, the utility exaggerated costs likely to be incurred under this new framework. Our comments support those made by allies such as Cooperative Energy Futures and advocate for adder calculations that ensure financeability and broad participation among residential subscribers to the state’s community solar program.… Read More

Community Broadband Bits Podcast: State Legislatures are Taking Action on Broadband

Date: 24 Apr 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

 This is episode 303(!) of our Community Broadband Bits podcast! Community Broadband Bits is a short weekly podcast featuring interviews with people building community networks or otherwise involved with Internet policy. We’re a little off kilter these days when it comes … Read More

Big Utilities See Pushback to Their Dominant Role in State Houses (Episode 44)

Date: 19 Apr 2018 | posted in: Building Local Power, Podcast | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Experts Stacy Mitchell, Christopher Mitchell, and John Farrell discuss the impact that concentrated economic power has in state legislatures in topics as wide-ranging as high-speed broadband access, electric utilities, and Facebook’s recent Congressional foibles.… Read More

Cooperative Fiber Connects Northern Minnesota to Economic Opportunity

Date: 20 Mar 2018 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

As an increasing number of rural cooperatives make the decision to offer high-quality connectivity in their service areas, communities where local telephone and electric cooperatives already provide Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) are seeing benefits today. Paul Bunyan Communications, offering broadband in Minnesota’s northwest region, has lured a new employer who will bring at least 150 new jobs to the area.… Read More

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