Energy Self-Reliant States: New Report! Minnesota’s Value of Solar

Jay Owen Resource Efficiency

A busy week for democratic energy!  Last week we:


P.S. Don’t miss our exciting report out last month on the intersection of energy storage and distributed renewable energy: Energy Storage: the Next Charge for Distributed Energy.

No more middlemen

New Report! Minnesota’s 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…


An Enormous Question for ‘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…


How Democratic Energy Fits the Rural Electric PhilosophyThe 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…


ILSR’s New Report!Energy storage promises to change the electricity system during the next decade, as fundamentally as distributed renewable energy has in the last decade. A new report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance,Energy Storage: The Next Charge for Distributed Energy, forecasts where the battleground is shaping up. The report also details promising examples of local…



Greening or Greenwashing? Illinois Cities’ Use of RECs Shows Challenges with Local AggregationA recent report from the World Wildlife Fund (and others) touts how city energy aggregation is “unleashing” renewable energy in Illinois. Buying electricity on behalf of their residential and small business customers, nearly 100 Midwestern cities have purchased renewable energy credits (RECs) along with their energy supply, giving their electrons a questionable aura of green…


Dawn Weisz

The Leading Community Energy Aggregator – Episode 19 of Local Energy Rules

Community choice aggregation describes a situation where a town can become the bulk buyer of electricity on behalf of its residential and small business customers. Such local aggregations serve about 5% of utility customers in Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California, but it’s Marin Clean Energy in California that stands above the crowd for…


Democratic Energy on Tour

Staff from the Democratic Energy initiative (me) speak at events around the country. Check out the upcoming and past events on ILSR’s speakers page, or see if you’re on the list below:

May 16, 2014 – Minneapolis, MN
John Farrell will present at the Midwest Solar Expo.

March 12, 2014 – Alexandria, MN
John Farrell presented at Electrons on the Run, a mini-conference on the future of the U.S. energy system at Alexandria Technical and Community College.

February 1, 2014 – Kansas City, MO
John Farrell was a special guest speaker at theMissouri Solar Energy Industries Association annual conference, and his presentation, Show Me Solar, received rave reviews.

January 18, 2014 – Northfield, MN
John Farrell participated in a city-wide Climate Summit and presented on Local Climate Solutions.

November 8, 2013 – Decorah, IA
John Farrell presented to the opening plenary session the 5th Conference of the Upper Midwest Association for Campus Sustainability at Luther College, speaking about the intersection of campus sustainability and the shift toward communities taking control of their energy future.  View the presentation and read the remarks.

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