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Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2016

Fact Sheet on Minnesota’s Rural Digital Divide

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/fact-sheet-on-minnesotas-rural-digital-divide/

The fact sheet highlights the great work that Minnesota cooperatives and municipalities have done to bring fast, affordable, reliable Internet service to rural areas throughout the state. They’ve built many Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks, but there is still much work to do. One in 4 Minnesotans lives in a rural area, and of those rural households,… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Broadband | Written by Hannah Trostle | No Comments | Updated on Sep 24, 2016

Connectivity’s Community Impact: Looking At The Numbers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/connectivitys-community-impact-looking-at-the-numbers/

People rave about next-generation connectivity’s possibilities in rural economies, but what does that mean for locals? A recent survey quantified the actual impact of a reliable high-speed Internet connection in an underserved area. Central Minnesota telephone cooperative, Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC), released the results of an impact survey on their newest fiber Internet service customers…. Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 16, 2016

Reviewing Two Years of a Novel City-Utility Partnership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/reviewing-two-years-of-a-novel-city-utility-partnership/

The first-in-the-nation Clean Energy Partnership has reached the end of its first two-year work plan and has gathered a lot of baseline data. But is it successful? As expected, it’s hard to tell.  The first work plan wasn’t adopted until well into the first year of the Partnership (2015), and a lot of existing utility… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Sep 16, 2016

At the Two-Year Mark, a Few Lessons from the Minneapolis Clean Energy Partnership – Episode 40 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/at-the-two-year-mark-key-takeaways-from-the-clean-energy-partnership-episode-40-of-local-energy-rules-podcast/

Minneapolis garnered national attention when it formed a first-of-its-kind partnership with local utilities to advance sustainable, efficient energy policy. Now, as communities across the U.S. increasingly push for influence over their energy futures, the Midwestern city offers a blueprint for what works and a taste of the challenges that come with cooperation. John Farrell, who… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 23, 2016

Local Utilities Have Lost Local Control

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-utilities-have-lost-local-control/

This post made possible by the tireless efforts of ILSR intern Abbigail Feola. She dug up the data, identified the story worth sharing, and wrote the following piece below. Historically, the purpose of both municipal and cooperative utility agencies has been to bring energy services to communities that for-profit corporations thought unprofitable to serve. This… Continue reading

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

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

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 9, 2016

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best

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

Update November 2016: From now on, we’ll keep the most recent data on the program’s development in this post I’ve been asked a lot of questions about Minnesota’s community solar program over the past couple years and it’s time to make one thing clear: Minnesota’s program is the best in the country. Why? Because there… Continue reading

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

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