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Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Aug 30, 2017

Minnesota Has the Best Community Solar Program — Here’s Why

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/minnesota-has-the-best-community-solar-program-heres-why/

This article was originally published on MinnPost on August 21st, 2017 in its Community Voice submission section. As a long-time advocate for community-scale investment in renewable energy, I’m often asked about community solar: a burgeoning part of the solar industry and a model for its growth. In community solar programs, multiple households or businesses near a common… Continue reading

Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 24, 2017

Three Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy and Three Ways to Fight Back

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/3-forces-fighting-local-renewable-energy/

If you’re reading energy news of late, you might have come across three new ways that forces are aligning against local renewable energy. State governments are increasingly pre-empting local authority on a range of issues, including energy. Utility companies are undercutting state regulation with their legislative lobbyists. And utilities are also bringing their monopoly market power to bear in previously competitive markets.

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jul 12, 2017

Slow-to-Accelerate EV Charging Program Provides Lessons for Improvement

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/xcel-energy-ev-charging-minnesota/

Minnesota’s largest investor-owned utility, Xcel Energy, last month reported sparse participation in a program designed to deliver value to customers who charge their electric vehicles when it’s most convenient for the grid. But despite its benefits for the grid and cost savings for customers, the initiative appears stuck in neutral.

By April 2017, a year and a half after its launch, just 95 Xcel customers had opted in to the state-mandated electric vehicle charging tariff. With nearly 1,000 plug-in vehicles registered to Minnesota drivers — a bulk of them likely in Xcel’s metro-area territory — participation numbers hover well below reasonable expectations. Why? Continue reading

Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Apr 12, 2017

Commentary: Mull Xcel Energy’s Partnership Offer Carefully, Boulder

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/commentary-mull-xcel-energys-partnership-offer-carefully-boulder/

Boulder Daily Camera – April 12, 2017 By John Farrell Municipalization comes with many challenges, but I have a few words of advice for Boulder’s city leaders about their utility’s latest offer. I’m no stranger to the struggle with Xcel for cleaner energy. At the invitation of local advocates, I came to Boulder in 2011… Continue reading

ILSR Press Room filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Mar 15, 2017

Xcel Energy Bullies its Opponents with its MNopoly on Power

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/xcel-energy-bullies-its-opponents-with-its-mnopoly-on-power/

City Pages – March 15, 2017 By Mike Mullen Around the Minnesota Capitol, Xcel Energy is the corporation that need not speak its name. Consider the legislation passed last month, allowing “a public utility” to “construct, own and operate” a natural gas power plant in Becker, a small town in central Minnesota. … A bipartisan,… Continue reading

Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Energy | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 22, 2017

Sherco Power Plant: The Wrong Project, for the Wrong Reasons, At a Big Cost

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sherco-power-plant-the-wrong-project-for-the-wrong-reasons-at-a-big-cost/

Have you seen this advertisement from Xcel Energy? We’ve done a little bit of work to clarify their message for them.

The proposed Sherco natural gas plant bill will soon be at Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s desk, after you watch our video, give him a call and tell him you oppose this billion-dollar boondoggle. Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Karlee Weinmann | No Comments | Updated on Jan 26, 2017

Monopoly Un-Managed? Utility Tries to Dodge Oversight of Spendy Proposed Gas Plant

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/monopoly-un-managed-utility-tries-to-dodge-oversight-of-spendy-proposed-gas-plant/

Circumventing a decades-old pact providing a market monopoly in exchange for public oversight, an investor-owned utility has proposed legislation to allow it to build a new natural gas plant criticized for its financial and environmental impact, and then stick customers with the tab. Legislation supporting Xcel Energy’s billion-dollar plans cropped up earlier this month, three… Continue reading

Featured Article, Report, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 12, 2016

Report: Sparking Grid Savings Starts at Home

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

  Download the Report   Browse the Report Introduction Big Potential Savings     Peak Reduction from Commercial Buildings     Peak Reduction from Homes Deepening of Peak Energy Reduction in Homes Powerful Examples Automated or No? Conclusion Footnotes Introduction In the past decade, two major trends have threatened the ability of electric utilities to… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Matt Grimley | No Comments | Updated on Jul 21, 2016

What if…Your Electric Utility Was a Benefit Corporation?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/what-if-your-electric-utility-was-a-benefit-corporation/

The misunderstandings that from time to time occur between communities and the managers of electric-lighting companies will, to my mind, disappear entirely if the relations between the two are correctly founded on the basis of public control, with corresponding protection to the corporations operating this industry. More than 100 years ago, standing in front of… Continue reading

Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 3, 2016

Why is Green Pricing a Premium When Wind Power is Cheap?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/why-is-green-pricing-a-premium-when-wind-power-is-cheap/

Ten years ago, a North Dakota cooperative stopped charging customers a premium for getting energy from the wind, because they found it wasn’t costing anything extra. The cooperative, like many utilities, used a “green pricing” program that allowed customers to voluntarily pay more to get their energy solely from renewable resources. Dozens of utilities still… Continue reading