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Article, Resource filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Apr 7, 2017

Video: Transitioning Co-ops Away From Coal

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/video-transitioning-co-ops-away-from-coal/

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… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 23, 2017

The Power and Perils of Cooperatives – Episode 12 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-power-and-perils-of-cooperatives-episode-12-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

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. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Feb 3, 2017

Thanks to Co-op, Small Iowa Town Goes Big On Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/thanks-to-co-op-small-iowa-town-goes-big-on-solar/

It’s hard to imagine a place more bucolic than the rural farming communities clustered around Kalona, Iowa — the kind of place that for generations has embodied conservative, blue-collar values woven throughout rural America. Nestled in the gently rolling hills of southeastern Iowa, it’s at first difficult to tell what sets Kalona apart from countless… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 14, 2016

Presentation: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/presentation-remembering-the-electric-cooperative/

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. Re-Member-ing Rural Electric Cooperatives Report Presentation from John Farrell Executive Summary Electric cooperatives face diverse… Continue reading

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

Being Black Still a Barrier to Rural Cooperative Board Membership

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/being-black-still-a-barrier-to-rural-cooperative-board-membership/

In 1984, the New York Times ran a story highlighting the almost universally white boards of directors among 300 Southern electric cooperatives serving populations with thousands of African American member-owners: According to Oleta G. Fitzgerald, a staff lawyer with the [Southern Regional Council], a survey of 300 cooperatives in Southern states showed no more than… Continue reading

Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Apr 7, 2016

Freeing Electric Cooperatives from Fossil Fuel Serfdom? – Episode 33 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/freeing-electric-cooperatives-from-fossil-fuel-serfdom-episode-33-of-local-energy-rules/

Electric cooperatives arose from New Deal legislation that provided government-backed low-interest loans to bring electricity to rural areas that for-profit companies wouldn’t serve in the 1930s. They were engines of the rural economy. But today they face unique challenges, including a disproportionate reliance on coal-fired power, often purchased on decades-long contracts. Additionally, even though rural… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 29, 2016

Report: Re-Member-ing the Electric Cooperative

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-remembering-the-electric-cooperative/

by John Farrell, Matt Grimley & Nick Stumo-Langer Electric cooperatives have been the backbone of the nation’s rural electrical system for more than 80 years. Their mission and business model now face more challenges than ever, from financial to contractual to basic member control. But the opportunity is equally great, with a chance for member-driven investment… Continue reading