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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

solar pv close up
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 28, 2014

Five Reasons Solar’s Win Over Gas in Minnesota is Just the Beginning

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

Solar advocates were popping corks when a New Year’s Eve ruling by an administrative law judge in Minnesota said that distributed solar arrays were a more cost-effective resource than natural gas to meet Xcel Energy’s peak power needs. The energy media were aflutter for weeks, but many missed the bigger significance. If solar trumps gas… Continue reading

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Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 20, 2014

Millions of People Investing in Solar – Episode 16 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/millions-people-investing-solar-episode-16-local-energy-rules/

For years, the only effective way to go solar was to have tens of thousands of dollars and a sunny roof.  Investing in solar was nearly impossible.  But a couple years ago, a new notion called crowdfunding got its start, and California-Based Mosaic was on the forefront.  Its crowdfunding program allows people to pool their… Continue reading

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

Democratic Energy’s Top 5 of 2013

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/democratic-energys-top-5-2013/

Rooftop Revolution A combination resource of our two reports on residential and commercial solar grid parity, including a slideshow, infographic, and an amazing interactive map (#5 on this list by itself).       Germany Has More Solar Power Because Everyone Wins It got press because someone at Fox News thought Germany was sunnier than… Continue reading

farmers electric cooperative IA
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 5, 2013

The #1 Solar Utility is in…Iowa? – Episode 12 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/1-solar-utility-in-iowa-episode-12-local-energy-rules/

It may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa will be leading the nation in this 21st century energy source. Upon completion of a new solar array, the 640-member cooperative will have over 1,500 Watts of solar per customer… Continue reading

Xcel Energy excessive community solar fees Minnesota 2013
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 11, 2013

Improvements Needed to Xcel’s Proposed MN Community Solar Program

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/improvements-needed-xcels-proposed-mn-community-solar-program/

Xcel Energy has published their proposed community solar program on Sept. 30, 2013 and ILSR submitted comments on the unlawfully capped and fee-crazy program last week. Comments below Public Comments on Community Solar (Docket E-002/M-13-867) Program Design Requirements Does Xcel’s proposed plan for operating a community solar garden (CSG) meet all the program design requirements,… Continue reading

Lessons from Minnesota- A Solar Success - web
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 16, 2013

Lessons from Minnesota – a Solar Success (Presentation)

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

This presentation by Director of Democratic Energy John Farrell shows the politics, process, and policy that led to Minnesota becoming the 17th state with a solar or distributed renewable energy standard in 2013.  Delivered to a webinar audience of Oregonians for Renewable Energy Progress (OREP) on July 16, 2013, it explains the new solar standard,… Continue reading

PG investor heads and cheering
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Jan 10, 2013

New Community Solar Crowdfunding Opportunity Sells Out in 24 Hours

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/community-solar-crowdfunding-opportunity-sells-24-hours/

Nearly 300 gigawatts of unsubsidized local solar could beat utility prices in the next decade, but until recently most Americans couldn’t participate because their own rooftop isn’t suitable for solar. That’s changing fast. Just one project featured in our 2010 community solar report, by the Clean Energy Collective, has managed to replicate its initial success. … Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 13 Comments | Updated on Sep 7, 2012

Minnesota’s First Community Solar Project is Minnesota-Made

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

Update 12/20/12: This project includes battery storage. Just last month, the Wright-Hennepin Cooperative Electric Association, serving communities just north and west of the Twin Cities metropolitan area, announced Minnesota’s first community solar project.  The 40 kW solar array will be located at the cooperative’s headquarters, with members allowed to purchase individual panels in the project… Continue reading

Complicated rubber band ball
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Aug 27, 2012

Forthcoming Project in Washington State Illustrates Complexity of Community Solar

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/forthcoming-project-washington-state-illustrates-complexity-community-solar/

Colorado just launched their long-awaited community solar gardens law (program subscribed in 30 minutes) and California is progressing on a virtual net metering law that could remove one of many roadblocks to community solar.  But the Vashon Community Solar Project in Washington State shows that doing solar community-style hasn’t become easy. The Vashon project will… Continue reading