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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

solar panels and building - flickr USDA
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 22, 2016

Small Ohio Town to Feature Large Distributed Solar and Storage

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/small-ohio-town-to-feature-large-distributed-solar-and-storage/

Energy storage is the “next charge” for distributed renewable energy, and the small town of Minster, OH, provides a powerful illustration. Committed to building a 3-megawatt (AC) solar facility, the village’s energy department (municipal utility) was blindsided by the state legislature in mid-2014. The state’s energy policy had previously favored purchase of solar from in-state… Continue reading

solar home rooftop - flickr Tim Fuller
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 7, 2015

Two Decades of Solar Pioneers in Sacramento – Episode 27 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/two-decades-of-solar-pioneers-in-sacramento-episode-27-of-local-energy-rules/

The publicly-owned Sacramento Municipal Utility District, or SMUD, had already installed the first utility-scale PV array in the nation back in 1984. By the early 1990s, the utility saw a potential for rooftop solar and launched its PV Pioneer program, placing dozens of solar arrays on their customer’s rooftops, for a fee. The standardized rollout… Continue reading

WordItOut-word-cloud-935200
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 22, 2015

Listen: Unanswered Questions about the Public Rooftop Revolution – Local Energy Rules Podcast Extra

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/unanswered-questions-about-the-public-rooftop-revolution/

At the beginning of June 2015, ILSR released its Public Rooftop Revolution report, which described how cities across the nation put the shine on municipal rooftops with more than 5,000 MW of solar. That 5,000 MW is as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date — and many cities could… Continue reading

solar panels and mountains - flickr Bart Speelman
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 26, 2015

The Hole in Brian Potts’ WSJ Critique of the “Solar-Panel Craze.”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-hole-in-brian-potts-wsj-critique-of-the-solar-panel-craze/

In his Sunday Wall Street Journal commentary on May 17, Brian Potts suggests that cost is the bottom line in the electric customer shift to solar, and that rooftop solar costs too much. But his defense of the utility’s view of energy costs leaves a big hole in the big picture: the value of solar… Continue reading

solar school check - blackrocksolar flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 22, 2015

Why Democratic Energy Offers Faster Approach to Clean Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/why-democratic-energy-offers-faster-approach-to-clean-energy/

There are many organizations in the energy space, and ILSR’s climate and energy advocacy overlaps substantially with the many other players who care about a cleaner energy system. But our approach isn’t the same. Rather, our vision is that communities enrich their local economies by being masters of the transition to 100% renewable energy. This… Continue reading

Cost of Residential Solar v. US Residential Retail
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Apr 29, 2015

Beyond Utility 2.0: Part 2 “The Present”

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/beyond-utility-2-0-part-2-the-present/

Aggressive state policy and cost reductions for clean energy have created two business model crises for electric utilities: stagnant sales and exponentially rising production from distributed renewable sources. This is the second of four parts of our Beyond Utility 2.0 to Energy Democracy report being published in serial.  To see the first post, click here. Download the entire… Continue reading

sunset in georgetown tx - flickr Jim Nix
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 14, 2015

Can Other Cities Match Georgetown’s Low-Cost Switch to 100% Wind and Sun?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/can-other-cities-match-georgetowns-low-cost-switch-to-100-wind-and-sun/

This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, TX, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Mar 4, 2015

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – March 4, 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-march-4-2015/

A clean energy report looks at the tension between utilities and consumers, and we take a look at political crossover: how distributed energy and local control is becoming more of a bipartisan issue. Chris Mooney with the Washington Post leads the roundup with two articles on how solar energy plays in conservative parts of the nation. It doesn’t hurt… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Lizzi Whittlesey | No Comments | Updated on Dec 8, 2014

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – December 8, 2014

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/democratic-energy-media-roundup-december-8-2014/

Over the last two weeks in democratic energy, media reports discussed a serious threat to Minneapolis’ recent city-utility partnership, why conservatives are embracing solar, and more. ILSR’s own John Farrell was cited in Utility Dive, in Robert Walton’s article, “Will Santa Fe be the next city to municipalize its electric utility?” Walton reports: “John Farrell,… Continue reading