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will value of solar work for solar producers slide
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 13, 2014

Webinar: Minnesota’s Value of Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/webinar-minnesotas-solar/

What is “the value of solar” electricity? How can it be used in energy policy? And how does it differ from other policies that govern the deployment of distributed solar power? Listen in to this 30-minute webinar presentation (and 30-minute Q&A) to learn about Minnesota’s recently enacted value of solar policy, how it may work for… Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 5, 2014

Same Price, More Renewables. San Diego’s Fight for Community Choice – Episode 23 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/price-renewables-san-diegos-fight-community-choice-episode-23-local-energy-rules/

“San Diego and its community choice energy district would be able to offer a diverse energy mix with all of the solar, biodiesel, biogas, and energy storage resources that we have in San Diego.  A product that is price competitive and yet at the same time would strive for and achieve a higher level of… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jun 2, 2014

Citizen Ownership Remains Foundation of German Renewable Energy Explosion

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/citizen-ownership-remains-foundation-german-renewable-energy-explosion/

I’ve been posting updates on local ownership of renewable energy in Germany since early 2011, and it’s abundantly clear that the Germans have yet to back down from their commitment to democratic, locally owned power. The following chart continues the series.  For explanation, click the previous link, but know that traditional electric utilities are contained… Continue reading

rooftop solar hawaii - shell vacations hospitality flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 23, 2014

Why is an Island Electric Utility Hindering Incredibly Cost-Effective Solar?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/island-electric-utility-blocking-incredibly-cost-effective-solar/

The Northern Mariana Islands are one of several island U.S. territories, lying three-quarters of the way from Hawai’i to the Philippines. Like most islands, their electricity supply has been almost entirely supplied by diesel-fueled generators, at enormous cost. So why have islanders in the Marianas – such as the residents of Saipan – been struggling… Continue reading

midwest solar expo web version 2014-0516
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 19, 2014

Midwest Solar Market: Hot or Not?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/midwest-solar-market-hot-not/

Is solar ready to boom in the Midwest, or does poor policy still stand in the way? This presentation by Institute for Local Self-Reliance Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell to the Midwest Solar Expo on May 16, 2014, explores the potential, the economics, and the policy needed to help solar power the Midwest. Download… Continue reading

dive - flickr superfantastic
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 15, 2014

A Deep Dive on Value of Solar and the Future of Solar Energy – Episode 22 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/deep-dive-solar-future-solar-energy-episode-22-local-energy-rules/

“Utility regulation and rates is a contact sport,” says Karl Rabago, and that makes the implementation of a new “value of solar” policy complex. Will distributed solar grow better with a transparent, value-based contract price? How does it differ from net metering? Is Minnesota’s law a precedent to follow? Prepare yourself for a deep dive… Continue reading

solar panels palo alto - flickr user bike
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on May 1, 2014

One City Utility is Carbon Neutral, Today – Episode 21 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/city-utility-carbon-neutral-today-episode-21-local-energy-rules/

It’s one thing to own your utility and have a commitment to renewable energy, but it’s another thing to deliver. The municipal utility in Palo Alto, CA, set an ambitious target of 33% renewable energy by 2015 and to ultimately deliver a carbon neutral electricity supply. They will reach 48% renewable power in 2017 and… Continue reading

community solar people cheering - BlackRockSolar flickr
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Apr 22, 2014

Community Solar Gardens Sprouting in Minnesota

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/community-solar-gardens-sprouting-minnesota/

On April 7, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission resoundingly rejected (click the link for an annotated ruling) a severely lacking community solar gardens proposal from Xcel Energy and required substantial improvements for the utility’s revised filing. The regulatory smack-down means a promising community solar market for Minnesota (scroll down for the infographic version).    … Continue reading

KC Doyle
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 17, 2014

The Power of the Collective Energy Purchasing – Episode 20 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/power-of-collective-energy-purchasing-episode-20-local-energy-rules/

“We can’t do it as an individual, But four hundred communities aggregating and asking for local wind power and solar power – that’s really powerful.” Oak Park, IL, is one of hundreds of Illinois towns using their authority to buy electricity in bulk on behalf of its residential and small business customers. So far, most… Continue reading

john farrell presenting at electrons on the run 2014
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 10, 2014

How Democratic Energy Fits the Rural Electric Philosophy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/democratic-energy-fits-rural-electric-philosophy/

The following presentation was given by ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell at the Electrons on the Run mini-conference in Alexandria, MN, on March 12, 2014.  The presentation illustrates how distributed renewable energy in the 21st century fits the rural electric utility philosophy of self-reliance and local economic development, just as providing local electricity… Continue reading

future of solar presentation cover
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 10 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/enormous-question-solar-choice/

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… Continue reading

mn value of solar cover
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 14 Comments | Updated on Apr 9, 2014

Minnesota’s Value of Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/minnesotas-value-of-solar/

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… Continue reading

Dawn Weisz, Marin Clean Energy
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 3, 2014

The Leading Community Energy Aggregator – Episode 19 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/leading-community-energy-aggregator-episode-19-local-energy-rules/

Community choice aggregation describes a situation where a town can become the bulk buyer of electricity on behalf of its residential and small business customers. Such local aggregations serve about 5% of utility customers in Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California, but it’s Marin Clean Energy in California that stands above the crowd for… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 26, 2014

Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/energystoragethenextchargefordistributedenergy/

Update 5/2/14: titles for Fig. 2 and 3 in the report were mistakenly switched and are now corrected.   Energy storage promises to change the electricity system during the next decade, as fundamentally as distributed renewable energy has in the last decade. A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Energy Storage: The Next… Continue reading

KIUC lineman and truck
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 21, 2014

A Perfect Storm for Renewables – Episode 18 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/perfect-storm-renewables-episode-18-local-energy-rules/

“We have a perfect storm for renewables,” says Jan TenBruggencate, second-term board member of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The Hawaiian utility, made local when the investor-owned utility left the business a decade ago, is surging toward 40% renewable energy in the next year, with a third of that total from customer-generated solar. Half its… Continue reading