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
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.
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
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
In Minneapolis City Pages, politics reporter Mike Mullen detailed the actions that Xcel Energy took in response to the parody video that we produced thanks to terrible legislation reducing oversight on the electricity giant that would harm Minnesotan ratepayers.… Read More
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
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
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
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