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solar nokomis hardware
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 12, 2013

What the REC?! Final Comments on Minnesota’s Proposed Value of Solar

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

The final stakeholder meeting took place in mid-November (right before the holiday, hence the delayed post) and Minnesota’s draft value of solar methodology reflects a thorough and careful accounting of the value of solar to the utility, ratepayers, and society. With the exception of the two issues mentioned explicitly below, I believe the robust formula… Continue reading

stone arch and power line
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 21, 2013

A Once-in-a-Generation Chance to Achieve a City’s Energy Goals – Episode 11 of Local Energy Rules

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/once-in-a-generation-achieve-citys-energy-goals-episode-11-local-energy-rules/

“We have this once-in-a-generation negotiation coming up next year and it’s a chance for Minneapolis to explore what its energy choices might be and how it could achieve its energy goals.” Earlier this week, the Minneapolis city council got an early look at an important “pathways study,” outlining the legal and policy strategies the city… Continue reading

washington-post-covers-big-longmont-referendum-victory
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Nov 13, 2013

Washington Post Covers Big Longmont Referendum Victory

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/washington-post-covers-big-longmont-referendum-victory

Last week, we were excited by the results of Longmont’s referendum, but we sure weren’t alone. The Washington Post’s Brian Fung wrote, “Big Cable may have felled Seattle’s mayor, but it couldn’t stop this Colo. project.”  Our regular readers know that Comcast succeeded in defeating the Longmont measure in 2009 but the electoral would not be… 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

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

xcel bullshit value of solar 2.003
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 25, 2013

Big Utility’s Two-Faced Talk on Low-Carbon Energy [infographic]

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/big-utility-two-faced-on-low-carbon-energy/

What happens when a monopoly utility sees a threat to their business model? A lot of two-faced talking to regulators about the best carbon-free energy sources. Read here for more background.     Like what you see?  Get a weekly email on Democratic Energy, or follow us on Twitter: Continue reading

two-faced xcel
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 24, 2013

Monopoly Utility (n): see “two-faced”

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

Two weeks ago, I listened – incredulously – to Minnesota’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, suggest that solar energy offers its ratepayers no value as an environmental hedge against carbon emissions or as a price hedge against natural gas fuel price fluctuations. But just three days later, Xcel was singing a different tune [docket pdf] to… Continue reading

Winter solar panels Minnesota
Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Oct 8, 2013

Debating the Value of Solar – Pt. 2 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/debating-solar-pt-2-minnesotas-process/

It was an unseasonably sunny day for part two of Minnesota’s value of solar stakeholder process: participation day. The leadoff was the Department of Commerce’s proposed approach to a value of solar methodology.  Shown below, it set some broad principles the Department intends to use in the value of solar formula it develops:    … Continue reading

alex-marshall-coming-to-humphrey-school-at-u-of-minnesota
Article filed under Broadband | Written by Christopher | No Comments | Updated on Oct 4, 2013

Alex Marshall Coming to Humphrey School at U of Minnesota

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.muninetworks.org/content/alex-marshall-coming-humphrey-school-u-minnesota

Six months ago, I wrote about a book by Alex Marshall, the Surprising Design of Market Economies. In a few weeks, he will be presenting to a small group at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. You can learn more about the event and register here. I am looking forward… Continue reading

Winter solar panels Minnesota
Featured Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 27, 2013

Setting the Value of Solar – Part 1 of Minnesota’s Process

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/setting-solar-part-1-minnesotas-process/

What is solar worth to a utility? It’s an issue of national debate, but one unexpected state – Minnesota – is engaging a formal process for determining the methodology for setting the value of solar. As the first multi-utility process, it’s likely to set a precedent nationwide for what the “value of solar” will mean… Continue reading