Energy Self-Reliant States Weekly: Proposed Solar Standard is Cheap Compared to Minnesota Utilities’ Rate Increases

Jay Owen Green Prosperity

I wonder why Xcel Energy ignores solar when it asks ratepayers to finance 3 new natural gas plants for new peaking capacity in Minnesota, I interview Brian Minish about the remarkable 600-owner South Dakota Wind Partners community wind project, and Minnesota utilities fail to mention that the 1.33% rate hike proposed in the solar energy standard is 1/40th the size of their rate hikes in the past 10 years.



New Peak Power Capacity Should Use Solar, Not Gas

It’s parochial, since I’m a Minnesota resident, but I just can’t stand that our state’s largest utility, Xcel Energy, is planning to use ratepayer money to buy three new natural gas fired peaking plants instead of a) installing solar power or b) supporting the proposed solar energy standard.  Share the graphic above if you agree…


Proposed Solar Standard is Cheap Compared to Minnesota Utilities’ Rate IncreasesIf you’re a state legislator in Minnesota, here are a few grains of salt to season the message you’ve been getting from electric utilities about the proposed solar energy standard.  The bill (HF956/SF901) requires most utilities to get 4% of their energy from solar by 2025 and offers a standard, fixed-price contract to distributed solar energy…


Paul Spencer and the Community Solar ‘Holy Grail’: Episode 6 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

This week John Farrell and Wade Underwood talk with Paul Spencer, President and founder of the Clean Energy Collective (CEC) in Carbondale, CO. The CEC is pioneering the process of delivering clean power-generation through medium-scale (mostly solar) facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. In many ways, their community energy model is the…


600 Investors in South Dakota’s Premier Community Wind Project: Episode 7 of Local Energy Rules PodcastIn this episode of Local Energy Rules, John Farrell speaks to Brian Minish, CEO of South Dakota Wind Partners about a community wind project that attracted over 600 local investors.  The project was the brainchild of four state organizations rooted in rural South Dakota–the East River Electric Cooperative, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Farmers…


Solar Costs and Grid Prices On a Collision CourseWith the cost of solar continuing to fall rapidly (50% in the past five years) and electricity prices rising steadily, if slowly, the approach of solar grid parity is near. The following chart illustrates the trajectory of solar cost and electricity price, hinting at the coming intersection. The chart compares the cost of a…


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