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

Date: 30 Aug 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

Our own Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell penned this article for MinnPost‘s Community Voices section about the benefits of the state’s community solar program, here’s a sample: “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.”… Read More

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

Date: 24 Jul 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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

Date: 12 Jul 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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?… Read More

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

Date: 12 Apr 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States, Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this commentary published in the Boulder Daily Camera, Energy Democracy initiative director John Farrell wrote that, “Municipalization comes with many challenges, but I have a few words of advice for Boulder’s city leaders about their utility’s latest offer.”… Read More

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

Date: 22 Feb 2017 | posted in: Energy, Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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.… Read More

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

Date: 26 Jan 2017 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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 months … Read More

Report: Sparking Grid Savings Starts at Home

Date: 12 Oct 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

New technology, particularly in the hands of electric customers, is creating an unprecedented opportunity to tap the many other sources of controllable electricity demand in homes and businesses. Utilities, like Xcel Energy in Minnesota, should harness these lower-cost ways to meet rising peak energy demand.… Read More

What if…Your Electric Utility Was a Benefit Corporation?

Date: 21 Jul 2016 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

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 a … Read More

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