New Year’s Resolutions for Utility Regulators

Date: 22 Dec 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Shocking investigative reports published late in 2017 highlight our longstanding concerns about deficient oversight of growing utility monopolies. This set of New Year’s resolutions we drafted would help utility regulatory commissioners keep their charges in check.… Read More

Paying Utilities for Performance

Date: 22 Dec 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In most states with regulated, monopoly utilities, utilities are compensation based on two factors: energy sales and a return on capital spent, such as when they build a new power plant. In comments filed in late December, 2017, ILSR provides some context for basing utility compensation for its shareholders on actual performance.… Read More

California Lawmakers Vote Against Rural Constituents for High-Quality Broadband Access

Date: 29 Sep 2017 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

California Legislators have turned on their constituents living in rural areas who want to participate in the 21st century online economy. What began as a move in the right direction – allocating substantial resources to funding high-speed Internet infrastructure – … Read More

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

Date: 24 Apr 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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 … Read More

Residential Subscribers in Focus as Minnesota Weighs Community Solar Incentives

Date: 22 Apr 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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 … Read More

Getting the Price Right for Local Wind and Solar

Date: 7 Apr 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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, … Read More

Unlocking Universal Access to Community Solar

Date: 23 Mar 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

As more community solar is brought to market, however, important questions loom about access and the distribution of benefits.

Finding answers requires an intentional approach from regulators, developers, and utilities alike to ensure that low-income households, and others traditionally shut out of owning renewable generation, have a chance to opt in.

This month, ILSR submitted the following comments to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to inform its discussion of universal access to community solar.  They are included below, lightly edited for clarity.… Read More

Pursuing Grid Modernization in a Monopoly Model

Date: 25 Mar 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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 … Read More

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