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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

multiple-minnesota-projects-submit-expressions-of-interest-to-fcc
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on May 7, 2014

Multiple Minnesota Projects Submit “Expressions of Interest” to FCC

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/multiple-minnesota-projects-submit-expressions-interest-fcc

We reported in February that the FCC sought “expressions of interest” from entities that want a share of Connect America funds. The agency sought feedback on the need and desire for projects across the country from entities that have not traditionally received universal service funds. The FCC received over 1,000 expressions of interest. Minnesota leads… Continue reading

govtech-reports-on-broadband-legislation-in-five-states
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 23, 2014

GovTech Reports on Broadband Legislation in Five States

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/govtech-reports-broadband-legislation-five-states

Broadband is a topic of interest in several state legislative chambers this session. In a recent Government Technology article, Brian Heaton focused on five states where community broadband is particularly contentious. In some cases, legislators want to expand opportunities while others seek to limit local authority. We introduced you to the Kansas anti-competition bill in January…. 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

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

blandin-webinar-on-minnesota-broadband-grants-now-archived-and-available
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 5, 2014

Blandin Webinar on Minnesota Broadband Grants Now Archived and Available

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/blandin-webinar-minnesota-broadband-grants-now-archived-and-available

The Blandin Foundation held an informative webinar on March 13 that is now ready for viewing.  If you were not able to attend the webinar, this is a great opportunity to learn more about grants available through the Blandin Community Broadband Program (BCBP). There are six active programs that focus on broadband. Mary Magnuson from… Continue reading

bill-to-boost-broadband-in-minnesota-struggles-in-legislature
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Apr 3, 2014

Bill to Boost Broadband in Minnesota Struggles in Legislature

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/bill-to-boost-broadband-in-minnesota-struggles/

In a revealing video about the Internet access problem in rural Minnesota, Annandale City Administrator Kelly Hinnenkamp describes her town’s struggle with connectivity. The video is the latest in a series on the Minnesota Senate DFL YouTube page intended to shed light on the critical situation in the state. Hinnenkamp describes broadband in the areas… Continue reading

to-overbuild-or-underbuild-a-rural-policy-conundrum-community-broadband-bits-podcast-91
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Mar 25, 2014

To Overbuild or Underbuild? A Rural Policy Conundrum – Community Broadband Bits Podcast #91

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/overbuild-or-underbuild-rural-policy-conundrum-community-broadband-bits-podcast-91

Lisa Gonzalez and I, Christopher Mitchell, are back in studio for a short conversation about the implications of a municipal network or a coop receiving subsidies from government to engage in overbuilding, where it builds a fiber network in an area already served by slow DSL and cable networks. This has become an important issue… Continue reading