An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

Date: 9 Apr 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 10 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies that provide leasing contracts for solar to home and business customers declared war on this “value of solar” policy, and pretty much every financial model for compensating solar … Read More

Report: Minnesota’s Value of Solar

Date: 9 Apr 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 17 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In March 2014, Minnesota became the first state to adopt a “value of solar” policy. It may fundamentally change the financial relationship between electric utilities and their energy-producing customers. It may also serve as a precedent for setting a transparent, market-based price for solar energy. This report explains the origins of value of solar, the compromises … Read More

FCC Rural Broadband Workshop Video

Date: 1 Apr 2014 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In case you missed it, you can still stream the FCC’s Rural Broadband Workshop. The announcement describes the event: The workshop will include an examination of the broadband needs of rural populations and the unique challenges of both broadband deployment and adoption in rural areas.  In addition, the discussion will highlight the economic, educational, and healthcare benefits … Read More

Could Minnesota’s “Value of Solar” Make Everyone a Winner?

Date: 13 Mar 2014 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 7 Facebooktwitterredditmail

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the first state to allow utilities a new method of contracting with distributed solar producers, called the market-based “value of solar.” If adopted by utilities, it will fundamentally change the relationship between solar-producing customers and their electric utility. Following Minnesota’s Value of Solar Process? Here are a few resources: Part 1 and … Read More

Minnesota’s New (Standard Offer) Solar Energy Standard

Date: 28 May 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

A friend at Fresh Energy generously called me the “architect” of Minnesota’s new solar energy standard (signed last week), and although that may be a bit generous, I’d like to provide a detailed description of the nation’s newest solar energy standard. The topline: 1.5% solar standard for the state’s investor-owned utilities (with some exemptions) for a … Read More

The Coming Solar Electricity Transformation

Date: 27 Mar 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 1 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Solar cells are unusual in that they were cost-competitive from the get-go. From the Apollo space program to highway signs to lighting for buoys, solar could replace highly expensive power from batteries or other sources and eliminate the need for the construction of electric distribution lines.1 When the Institute for Local Self-Reliance was founded in 1974, … Read More

The Making of a Midwestern Solar Energy Standard

Date: 14 Mar 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 2 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Last night, the House Energy Policy Committee in the Minnesota state legislature voted 8-6 to approve a 4% by 2025 solar energy standard, with an innovative new approach to financing solar power.  It’s a powerful first step for what would be one of the more robust policies to support distributed, local solar power in the country. … Read More

ILSR Monitors Georgia Legislation to Kill Municipal Networks

Date: 20 Feb 2013 | posted in: MuniNetworks | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Once again, the Georgia General Assembly is considering a bill that would devastate local communities’ right to build their own telecommunications networks. ILSR is monitoring this House Bill 282 as it moves through through the Senate and House. The bill, misleadingly called the “Municipal Broadband Investment Act,” creates barriers to any municipal network in areas that … Read More

A Local Solar Energy Standard for Minnesota

Date: 15 Feb 2013 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The following presentation outlines a 10% solar energy standard to be considered by the Minnesota legislature in early 2013. It would require utilities to supply 10% of their energy sales from solar electricity – largely local, distributed solar.  It provides long-term, standard contracts to solar projects with a value of solar production-based price and a production … Read More

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