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
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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 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
A terrific video explains why utility investments in “baseload” coal and nuclear power plants are acting against increasing renewable energy. Credit to EnergyShouldBe, a website created by one of the technical analysts helping Boulder, CO, pursue a more local, renewable energy system. My one caveat is that flexibility of a utility system varies by utility. … Continue reading
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
Minneapolis, MN (October 7, 2013) – The economy has stalled and so has the war on climate change. But a new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance describes how dozens of cities are boosting their local economies while dramatically reducing greenhouse gases. City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy… Continue reading
Keeping Energy Dollars Local
- Chattanooga, TN, is adding over $1 billion to its local economy in the next decade by implementing one of the most advanced smart grids and delivering the fastest internet service in the country with its municipal utility.
- Sonoma County, CA, has created nearly 800 local jobs retrofitting over 2,000 properties for energy savings with city-based financing.
- Babylon, NY, has re-purposed a solid waste fund to finance retrofits for 2% of the city’s homes, saving residents an average of $1,300 a year on their energy bills at minimal cost to the city.
Eight Powerful, Practical Policies
This report details eight practical energy policies cities can and have used to their economic advantage: Continue reading
A vividly visual summary of our newest report, City Power Play: 8 Practical Local Energy Policies to Boost the Economy, this presentation covers eight powerful policies and practices that cities have employed to reduce energy use, save money, and create local jobs, all without waiting for someone else to act. It provides short case studies… Continue reading
This panel asks ‘who’s your energy daddy?’ and for now it remains large, investor-owned utilities, and ostensibly locally-focused rural cooperatives and municipal utilities. But the energy landscape of today gives me uncomfortable reminders of the Athenian tragedy by Sophocles - the Oedipus tale. John Farrell, ILSR’s Director of Democratic Energy, gave this panel presentation at the 23rd… Continue reading
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