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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

utility substation - Tyler Wilson via Flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 25, 2016

Pursuing Grid Modernization in a Monopoly Model

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/pursuing-grid-modernization-in-a-monopoly-model/

How can a state modernize its electric system when it’s in the hands of vertically integrated monopolies? We offer some thoughts via its comments on a Grid Modernization docket being reviewed by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Background: the grid modernization docket is a relatively new requirement, asking the state’s largest investor-owned utility to explain… Continue reading

hawaii solar price comes up short ILSR
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 21, 2015

Hawaii’s Net Metering Alternative Comes Up (Way) Short

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/hawaiis-net-metering-alternative-comes-up-way-short/

Earlier this week, the Public Utilities Commission of Hawaii approved the proposal of the islands’ largest utility to end net metering for solar customers. It’s the culmination of a years-long battle and a proxy in the national fight between utilities and solar producing customers. It’s also the first big decision taking Hawaii away from the… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Mar 20, 2015

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – week of March 16, 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-19-2015/

This week in Democratic Energy: West Virginia governor signs bill slamming brakes on solar development Wal-mart’s support of a new North Carolina law should give regulators pause California could produce five times their energy needs from solar   Utility titan plays harder as industry evolves by Bill Loveless, USA Today Of course Fanning says he doesn’t see utilities… Continue reading

on air wnhn
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 16, 2015

Listen: Can an Old Utility (dog) Learn New Tricks?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/utility-dog-learn-tricks/

Arnie Arnesen interviewed ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell on WNHN’s The Attitude last week, seeking an answer to this question: can we expect electric utilities to embrace the energy sources of the future, like solar? Electric Utilities Play by the (Old) Rules Arnie and John discussed the hesitance of utilities to embrace innovation… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Rebecca Toews | No Comments | Updated on Mar 12, 2015

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – March 11, 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-11-2015/

Can one state lead the way for others in sound, smart energy policy? New York is setting the stage. This week, Mother Jones, and others talked to John about getting what we want from the utility of the future. (Hint: utilities may soon be waiting-in-the-wings!) Read more stories from this week, below. New York Just… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy | Written by Lizzi Whittlesey | No Comments | Updated on Dec 17, 2014

Democratic Energy Media Roundup – December 15, 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-15-2014-2/

This week in democratic energy, media reports covered South Carolina’s net metering deal, Minnesota’s Solar Rewards Community program, and more. From Switchboard, the Natural Resources Defense Council Staff Blog, Pierre Bull discussed a recent report that highlights which states excel and which states lag in promoting solar. Bull writes: “Knowledge is power, or at least… Continue reading

sunrise on solar - flickr Jonathan Potts
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2014

A $48 Billion Opportunity for U.S. Electric Customers

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/u-s-utility-customers-save-48-billion-solar-efficiency/

Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency. But where does that money go? If we pursue a democratic energy system as outlined in ILSR’s new… 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

solar garden - flickr  Kevin Krejci
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 11, 2014

A Few Weeds in Minnesota Decision to Allow Community Solar Gardens to Grow

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/weeds-minnesota-decision-community-solar-gardens-grow/

Late last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However, the Public Utilities Commission decision also highlighted the shortcomings of the legislature’s distributed solar policy adopted in 2013. What was missing? Minnesota’s increasingly well-known “value of… Continue reading