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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

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

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Sep 27, 2013

Essential Elements in the Value of Solar

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

Comments to the Minnesota Division of Energy Resources Re: Value of Solar Stakeholder Process From: Institute for Local Self-Reliance    John Farrell, Director of Democratic Energy Date: September 20, 2013 Background The value of solar component of the state’s new solar energy standard must be considered in the context of the state’s energy goals, expressed… Continue reading

Population at Grid Parity and Residential Rooftop Solar MW
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by Wade | No Comments | Updated on Jun 18, 2013

The Solar Opportunity

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

The coming of solar grid parity offers an opportunity for millions of Americans to go solar affordably. But it also means a potential transformation, a democratization of an electricity system long dominated by centrally-controlled utilities and centralized ownership and production of electricity. When solar can undercut grid electricity prices, it may also undercut this 20th… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2012

Going Local Gives More Value to Solar Power

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

Update: you can now read the whole essay – Wide-scale Implementation of Solar Power I just read an essay by a Canadian utility executive arguing that solar is the most economic energy source, and he systematically dismantles the notion that “cheap baseload coal” is more competitive that solar electricity. First: Solar is Cheaper Than Coal… Continue reading

John Farrell
Featured Article, Resource filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 2 Comments | Updated on Nov 9, 2012

Finding Value in Distributed Generation, Before it Finds You

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

ILSR Senior Researcher John Farrell is giving this presentation to a collaborative meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Association of Regulatory Commissioners (NARUC) this weekend.  It highlights the proven value of distributed solar to utility grid systems and the urgent need for regulators and utilities to incorporate this value into… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Apr 11, 2012

Net Metering a Cost to Utilities, or a Benefit?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/net-metering-cost-utilities-benefit-2/

Update: A third-party study of net metering in California also found that solar customers provide more benefit than cost to the utility Utilities often claim that allowing customers to run their meter backward (by generating electricity on-site, e.g. from rooftop solar) can affect their bottom line because these customers don’t pay enough to cover the… Continue reading