A few weeks ago, we wrote about one of the community meetings held by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to address mounting frustrations over poor service from Frontier Communications. Subscribers at the meeting in Wyoming, Minnesota, complained of download speeds as slow as 0.05 Megabits per second (Mbps), outages that lasted for weeks, and unhelpful customer service representatives.… Read More
Joining 14 other states, New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities recently rolled out its draft community solar (or “shared renewables”) program rules. The program captures many of the best aspects of community solar programs, including generous compensation, project sizes, and a focus on access for low-income customers.… Read More
Minnesota’s community solar program hit a record 435 megawatts of operational capacity in September 2018. We note a new finding, that the total queue has actually shrunk in size since January 2017. Two charts show the progress of the program.… Read More
People in Wyoming, Minnesota, gathered together on September 12th to bend the ear of officials from the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Ann Treacy from the Blandin Foundation attended the meeting and recorded most of the conversation from the 100 or so frustrated and fed-up folks. The meeting was one of five organized by the PUC after a record number of complaints by incumbent telephone and Internet access provider Frontier.… Read More
Earlier this summer, ILSR Energy Democracy Research Associate Marie Donahue participated in an online video series entitled Solutionary Perspectives, produced by the Backbone Campaign’s Solutionary Rails project. The recent episode “Clean Energy, Community Economy, and Energy Democracy” released last week focuses on the topic of community solar, highlighting on-the-ground examples from Maryland and key resources from ILSR.… Read More
In the coming years, as electric vehicle ownership and charging infrastructure grow, communities and the energy system will be transformed. This month, we submitted comments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to inform a regulatory process on accommodating the expansion of electric vehicle use.… Read More
Shiloh Temple, a church two miles from downtown Minneapolis, serves more than just the spiritual needs of the community. After a recent update to its roof, this church in North Minneapolis now serves some of the community’s energy needs, as well.
In May, John Farrell visited the rooftop solar garden and interviewed Timothy DenHerder-Thomas, general manager of Cooperative Energy Futures, the cooperatively-owned company that installed the panels. The two discussed final stages of the project, the justice perspective that makes it unique, and other projects Cooperative Energy Futures has in the queue.… Read More
In his recent article written for NBC News, journalist Phil McCausland examines the impacts broadband access can have on rural communities and the challenges that persist in bringing coverage to these isolated areas. Reliable high-speed internet access can spark economic development in some of the United State’s most cash-strapped areas, but a lack of dependable data makes acquiring funding difficult.
McCausland explores how high-speed Internet access is becoming increasingly essential for communities’ economic growth. He spoke with Roberto Gallardo, the assistant director of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, who explained how having broadband access today “is analogous to the installation of a railroad 100 years ago or a highway 50 years ago.”… Read More