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
Minnesota’s nation-leading community solar program hit a record 379 megawatts of operational capacity in July 2018. Two charts show the progress of the program since August 2015 and the share of subscribers by customer class.… 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
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
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
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
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
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