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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

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

state policy battlegrounds over net metering and distributed generation 2014-0321
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2014

Distributed Renewable Energy Under Fire

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

I developed this map as a side project while I was working on explaining the value of solar and its potential role in addressing conflicts between utilities and customers over distributed renewable energy like solar. I’ve received several updates since it was originally published, so here’s the updated map. For some context on the contention… Continue reading

SolarWorksInMN1 250
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 3 Comments | Updated on Mar 13, 2014

Could Minnesota’s “Value of Solar” Make Everyone a Winner?

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

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the first state to allow utilities a new method of contracting with distributed solar producers, called the market-based “value of solar.” If adopted by utilities, it will fundamentally change the relationship between solar-producing customers and their electric utility. Following Minnesota’s Value of Solar Process? Here are a few resources: Part 1… 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

MOSEIA presentation kansas city JFF ILSR
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Feb 4, 2014

Show Me Solar: Parity, Value, and Opportunity for Solar Power

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

What can solar power do for a single state? How about 21% of its energy, $14 billion in economic activity, and over 150,000 jobs. At a discount to existing electricity costs. Without subsidies. ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, John Farrell, shared this message with the Missouri Solar Energy Industries Association on Feb. 1, 2014 in… Continue reading

Winter solar panels Minnesota
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 31, 2013

Sticking Points on Value of Solar – Pt. 3 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/sticking-points-solar-pt-3-minnesotas-process/

Round 3 of Minnesota’s stakeholder process on the value of solar power (10/15/13) focused on the remaining unresolved tensions between stakeholders, and it started with a reminder of the charge, with quotes from the enabling law. A utility may apply to the Public Utilities Commission for a value of solar tariff that compensates customers through… Continue reading

Los Angeles FIT Program capacity and price
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 3, 2013

Los Angeles Utility Goes for Local Solar with 100 MW Feed-In Tariff

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/los-angeles-utility-local-solar-feed-in-tariff/

Officially launched in January after years of development, a new CLEAN (feed-in tariff) program from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (the city’s municipal electric utility) promises 100 MW of new local renewable energy by 2016.  In absolute size, the program will be among the largest CLEAN programs in the U.S., but compared to… Continue reading

Cost of 10 Percent Solar for MN
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Mar 14, 2013

The Making of a Midwestern Solar Energy Standard

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

Last night, the House Energy Policy Committee in the Minnesota state legislature voted 8-6 to approve a 4% by 2025 solar energy standard, with an innovative new approach to financing solar power.  It’s a powerful first step for what would be one of the more robust policies to support distributed, local solar power in the… Continue reading

solar works minnesota presentation.001
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 15, 2013

A Local Solar Energy Standard for Minnesota

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

The following presentation outlines a 10% solar energy standard to be considered by the Minnesota legislature in early 2013. It would require utilities to supply 10% of their energy sales from solar electricity – largely local, distributed solar.  It provides long-term, standard contracts to solar projects with a value of solar production-based price and a… Continue reading