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Featured Article filed under Broadband, Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Mar 2, 2017

Arkansas Utility Leads on Energy, Broadband

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/arkansas-utility-leads-on-energy-broadband/

This article was co-written with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative research associate, Hannah Trostle, and this piece is cross-posted on MuniNetworks.org. Ouachita Electric Cooperative, nestled deep in south-central Arkansas, is an unlikely innovator in a pair of industries struggling to adapt to shifting market dynamics: electricity and broadband. Despite rising demand for energy efficiency and… 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, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2016

Fact Sheet on Minnesota’s Rural Digital Divide

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/fact-sheet-on-minnesotas-rural-digital-divide/

The fact sheet highlights the great work that Minnesota cooperatives and municipalities have done to bring fast, affordable, reliable Internet service to rural areas throughout the state. They’ve built many Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks, but there is still much work to do. One in 4 Minnesotans lives in a rural area, and of those rural households,… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Broadband | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Oct 11, 2016

Report: North Carolina Connectivity – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/report-north-carolina-connectivity-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

North Carolina’s digital divide between urban and rural communities is increasing dangerously in a time when high quality Internet access is more important than ever. Rural and urban areas of North Carolina are essentially living in different realities, based on the tides of private network investment where rural communities are severely disadvantaged. The state has… Continue reading

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

Local Utilities Have Lost Local Control

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/local-utilities-have-lost-local-control/

This post made possible by the tireless efforts of ILSR intern Abbigail Feola. She dug up the data, identified the story worth sharing, and wrote the following piece below. Historically, the purpose of both municipal and cooperative utility agencies has been to bring energy services to communities that for-profit corporations thought unprofitable to serve. This… 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

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

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 11, 2016

Are Rural Electric Cooperatives Driving or Just Dabbling in Community Solar?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/rural-electric-and-cooperatives-community-solar/

Electric cooperatives, member-owned organizations that sell electricity to those within their service area, are perhaps the nation’s largest group of utilities that could champion clean, local power. They tend to cover enormous swaths of the most rural territory, often with excellent wind and solar resources. In one manner of renewable energy, cooperatives are leading the… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Jan 13, 2016

Just How Democratic are Rural Electric Cooperatives?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/just-how-democratic-are-rural-electric-cooperatives/

Randy Wilson knew you had to start somewhere. Knocking on doors and hanging around retail store parking lots, he and volunteers from the citizen group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth collected signatures. After weeks of holding out clipboards, they collected the more than 500 signatures needed to run for the board of the Jackson Energy Cooperative… Continue reading