Frances Sawyer and Maria McCoy discuss ILSR’s new report on rural electric co-ops and how federal dollars can meet the growing momentum of co-op member-owners organizing around affordability, clean energy, and local control.… Read More
ILSR’s new report, The Rural Electric Rift, examines the struggle of electric distribution cooperatives and their members to restore local control over electricity purchasing and harness the benefits of affordable clean energy.… Read More
In our latest Local Energy Rules podcast, John Farrell joins leaders from Farmers Electric Cooperative in Iowa and Kit Carson Electric Cooperative in New Mexico, to discuss how rural areas can source their power locally and renewably. Rural electric co-op leaders Warren McKenna and Luis Reyes share from experience how local renewable energy provides win-wins for co-ops, member-owners, and their local economy.… Read More
Residents of northern Arkansas will soon be able to obtain high-speed Internet access through their local electric cooperative. North Arkansas Electric Cooperative (NAEC) recently received approval from its Board of Directors to expand its residential broadband pilot program, NEXT, Powered by NAEC. This expansion will bring Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) connectivity and one gigabit speeds to the co-op’s entire service area.
Karlee Weinmann, Research Associate for the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, delivered a presentation in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 28th, 2017 at an event called Decarbonizing the Electric Grid. In her presentation she discussed the untapped potential for rural electric cooperatives to democratically engage with their member-owners, commit heavily to renewable energy, and lift up their stories in the energy industry.… Read More
In this episode, Christopher Mitchell, the director of ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative, interviews Hannah Trostle and Karlee Weinmann, Research Associates for the Community Broadband Networks and Energy Democracy initiatives, respectively. The three discuss the cooperative model of ownership and how this model can enable investment in gigabit Internet connections for their member-owners, but also how they are subject to a low participation rates in their elections.… Read More
Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless similar places on the Midwestern landscape. Small towns like these form the backbone of a region whose economy depends on a rich farming tradition, even well into the 21st century.
But Kalona’s charm doesn’t obscure the innovation that makes it a national leader in clean power generation. In this small community, where many Amish and Mennonite families shun electricity and cars, solar power has proliferated. In fact, the Kalona area is a surprising national leader in solar power generation.… Read More
In March of 2016, we published a report on the state of rural electric cooperatives in the current electricity market: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative. Below you will find our newly developed presentation based on this report. Forward and share widely.… Read More
Exempt from state regulation in 33 states because they purportedly offer democratic and local control, new data on the nation’s rural electric cooperatives suggests that skin color is still a major barrier to their democratic representation.… Read More