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MN PUC
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Not Just Illegal, Targeting Solar Facilities With Fees is Poor Policy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/targeting-solar-facilities-with-fees/

Should utilities be able to add special fees on customers that have solar or small wind installations? Not only is it against Minnesota state law, but in our recent comments to the state’s Public Utilities Commission, we explain how one-off fees on customers using distributed generation to cut their energy consumption violates the spirit of… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on May 12, 2016

Minnesota’s Broadband Grant Program: Getting the Rules Right

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/mn-border-to-border-grant-program/

Minneapolis, MN —In its first two years of implementation, the Minnesota Border-to-Border program distributed $30 million to 31 rural Minnesota communities. But the state has not put enough money into the program and needs to put more focus on getting investment in Greater Minnesota cities to spur economic development. “This funding is essential to greater Minnesota… Continue reading

St. Peter Blog - Gustavus Adolphus
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on May 2, 2016

In St. Peter, MN, A Solar Fee Blossoms

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/in-st-peter-mn-a-solar-fee-blossoms/

St. Peter, Minn., home to 11 thousand people, is nestled within the verdant hills of the Minnesota River Valley. The town was originally intended to be the state capital of Minnesota, until a legislator named “Jolly” Joe Rolette nabbed the bill and hid it from the governor’s awaiting signature. Unflappable, the city would play its own part… Continue reading

Cooperative Energy Futures Podcast
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2016

Sunshine and Ownership: A Cooperative Solar Garden Blooms in North Minneapolis – Episode 34 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sunshine-and-ownership-a-cooperative-solar-garden-blooms-in-north-minneapolis-episode-34-of-local-energy-rules/

In anticipation of our new community-owned renewable energy report, Beyond Sharing: How Communities Can Take Ownership of Renewable Power, we are releasing the first in a series of Local Energy Rules podcasts that informed the writing of this report. When people pay their electric bill to an investor-owned utility such as Minnesota’s Xcel Energy, they are… Continue reading

RS Fiber Feature Image
Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Apr 18, 2016

RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for new Rural Internet Cooperative

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

21ST CENTURY FARMS REQUIRE 21ST CENTURY CONNECTIVITY. Denied Access by telephone and cable companies, they created a new model. Winthrop, MN — A new trend is emerging in rural communities throughout the United States: Fiber-to-the-Farm. Tired of waiting for real Internet access from big companies, farmers are building it themselves. Communities in and around Minnesota’s… Continue reading

Minnesota Broadband image TPT Almanac at the Capitol feature image with play arrow
Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 8, 2016

Local Media Covers The MN “Donut Hole” Phenomenon: Video, Editorial

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/42642-2/

As Minnesota’s Legislature decides on funding for the state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program, local media is calling on state leaders to prioritize local connectivity in the Capitol Chambers. This year, Governor Dayton’s office is recommending allocating $100 million to the program. Continue reading

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

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

Microgrids and Regulation with Chris Villarreal – Episode 30 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/podcast-microgrids-and-regulation-with-chris-villarreal/

With the release of ILSR’s new report, “Mighty Microgrids,” ILSR is releasing two podcasts with the developers and regulators of microgrids in the United States. This is the second podcast. In 2014, Chris Villarreal helped write the white paper, Microgrids: A Regulatory Perspective. As a regulatory analyst with the California Public Utilities Commission, he outlined… Continue reading

St Paul_MostLivable_logo
Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by ILSR | No Comments | Updated on Feb 1, 2016

Seniors, Low-Income, Disabled Communities Pay the Price in St. Paul

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/seniors-low-income-disabled-communities-pay-the-price-in-st-paul/

For seniors, low-income residents, and the disabled in Saint Paul, Minnesota, a Comcast discount within the city’s franchise agreement is not all it was cracked up to be. The Pioneer Press recently reported that, as eligible subscribers seek the ten percent discount guaranteed by the agreement, they are finding the devil is in the details… 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