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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on May 24, 2017

Minnesota Regulators Eye Subcommittee to Resolve Distributed Generation Disputes

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minnesota-regulators-eye-subcommittee-to-resolve-distributed-generation-disputes/

Better technology and falling costs for years have buoyed the clean energy economy, steadily putting rooftop solar, energy efficiency, and other distributed energy resources within reach of more U.S. households and businesses. Still, many utilities remain averse to accommodating these amenities despite significant — and rising — demand in the marketplace. The disconnect between what… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Apr 24, 2017

Xcel Has Room for Renewable Generation on its Minnesota Grid. So Where Is It?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/xcel-renewables-minnesota-grid-puc-2017/

Determining exactly how much local renewable generation can reach Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota hinges in part on how many of these projects the existing grid can accommodate. To that end, the state’s Public Utilities Commission compelled the utility last year to report on more than 1,000 “feeders” delivering electricity to homes and businesses across… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Apr 22, 2017

Residential Subscribers in Focus as Minnesota Weighs Community Solar Incentives

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minnesota-community-solar-adder-puc-2017/

In its filing on providing community solar incentives for residential subscribers, the Department outlined a loose framework for the “adder,” designed to encourage community solar developers to pursue projects accessible that target residential subscribers. The agency pitched an incentive worth $0.025 per kilowatt-hour, to be phased out over time. The residential adder discussion is part… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Hannah Trostle | No Comments | Updated on Apr 12, 2017

Locating Fiber: Local Leaders Can Help State Decision Makers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/locating-fiber-local-leaders-can-help-state-decision-makers/

Better conduit policy and One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) are two approaches seeing the state legislative limelight recently. With local examples to offer guidance, a few state lawmakers are attempting to implement similar rules. State Governments Follow Local Leads Local communities know their needs best and are best poised to make local decisions. Some have used new conduit policies like in… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Apr 7, 2017

Getting the Price Right for Local Wind and Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/getting-price-right-for-local-wind-solar/

A federal policy enacted nearly 40 years ago has breathed life into an ongoing argument at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission over utility opposition to a wind-solar hybrid project proposed in the rural city of Red Lake Falls. The law, known as PURPA, was designed to promote local renewable generation by requiring utilities — even… Continue reading

Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Mar 31, 2017

Minnesota Lawmakers Introduce Internet Privacy Protections

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minnesota-lawmakers-introduce-internet-privacy-protections/

After elected officials in Washington, D.C., voted to allow ISPs to invade their customers’ privacy online, leaders in Minnesota took steps to protect constituents. A recent amendment in St. Paul may be setting some new rules for ISPs operating in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Taking Action In Minnesota Both the state House and Senate… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 30, 2017

Rural Solar At Risk As Co-ops Push for Less Oversight

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/rural-solar-at-risk-as-co-ops-push-for-less-oversight/

Minnesota’s governor recently vetoed anti-renewables legislation that threatens rural solar development, but the bill’s likely resurgence means the state remains among a growing crop of Midwestern states facing the prospect of heavy-handed limitations on solar growth. The Minnesota legislation would have exempted rural electric cooperatives from all oversight of distributed generation policy by state regulators,… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 23, 2017

Unlocking Universal Access to Community Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/unlocking-universal-access-to-community-solar/

Community solar development is growing nationwide as utilities, recognizing market demand, think bigger than pilot-scale projects. A recent forecast from Greentech Media Research predicted 410 megawatts (MW) of community solar will be installed this year — nearly double the 218 MW that went online in 2016. Community Solar Outlook: Third Party-Led vs. Utility-Led Markets These… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 6, 2017

Municipal Utility Offers Springboard for Minnesota City’s Energy Vision – Episode 42 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/municipal-utility-offers-springboard-for-minnesota-citys-energy-vision-episode-42-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Sprouting from southeastern Minnesota farm country, the city of Rochester is an unassuming mini-metropolis best known for its world-famous Mayo Clinic. But the city is also home to the state’s largest municipal utility and an ambitious plan to ramp up renewable generation, a one-two punch aimed at galvanizing the local economy. A 2015 mayoral proclamation… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jan 26, 2017

Monopoly Un-Managed? Utility Tries to Dodge Oversight of Spendy Proposed Gas Plant

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/monopoly-un-managed-utility-tries-to-dodge-oversight-of-spendy-proposed-gas-plant/

Circumventing a decades-old pact providing a market monopoly in exchange for public oversight, an investor-owned utility has proposed legislation to allow it to build a new natural gas plant criticized for its financial and environmental impact, and then stick customers with the tab. Legislation supporting Xcel Energy’s billion-dollar plans cropped up earlier this month, three… Continue reading