Unlocking Universal Access to Community Solar

Community solar development is growing nationwide as utilities, recognizing market demand, think bigger than pilot-scale projects. A recent forecast from Greentech Media Research predicted 410 megawatts (MW) of community solar will be installed this year — nearly double the 218 MW that went online in 2016.

John Farrell Debates in Favor of Distributed Solar at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners

On February 13, ILSR’s John Farrell participated in a debate on the value of small-scale distributed generation at the annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) in Washington, D.C. with utility-scale renewable energy advocate Brian Potts.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of March 20, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

We get a run-down on what Xcel Energy has been doing at the Minnesota state legislature and beyond, how rural Alaska can teach the mainland about renewable energy, and why solar energy on farms is an important new cash crop for farmers.

Featured Stories:

Is New York’s “compromise” the future for net metering? by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Xcel Energy Bullies its Opponents with its MNopoly on Power

City Pages – March 15, 2017

By Mike Mullen

Around the Minnesota Capitol, Xcel Energy is the corporation that need not speak its name.

Consider the legislation passed last month, allowing “a public utility” to “construct, own and operate” a natural gas power plant in Becker, a small town in central Minnesota. …

Video: A Solar Leader Emerges in Rural Iowa

It seems counter-intuitive that a conservative farming community in southeastern Iowa is home to some of the most expansive solar generation in the U.S. But that’s exactly what’s happening in the area served by Farmers Electric Cooperative, the rural utility whose enterprising leader, Warren McKenna, saw renewables as a gateway to economic vitality.

Pueblo Targets All-Renewables Future To Bolster Local Economy

Pueblo, Colorado, last month became the first city to commit to an all-renewables future since President Donald Trump took office. The new administration continues to cast significant doubt over the future of federal policies designed to promote clean energy and distributed generation, virtually ensuring the best energy policy will sprout from state and local leadership.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of March 6, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

California introduced a bill to move the state more quickly towards 100% renewable energy, the Indiana legislature curtails net metering, and Nebraska communities are turning away from contracts with dirty energy.

Featured Stories:

Sherco power plant: The wrong project, for the wrong reasons, at a big cost by John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann, CleanTechnica

Municipal Utility Offers Springboard for Minnesota City’s Energy Vision – Episode 42 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

Sprouting from southeastern Minnesota farm country, the city of Rochester is an unassuming mini-metropolis best known for its world-famous Mayo Clinic. But the city is also home to the state’s largest municipal utility and an ambitious plan to ramp up renewable generation, a one-two punch aimed at galvanizing the local economy.

Arkansas Utility Leads on Energy, Broadband

This article was co-written with ILSR’s Community Broadband Networks initiative research associate, Hannah Trostle, and this piece is cross-posted on

Ouachita Electric Cooperative, nestled deep in south-central Arkansas, is an unlikely innovator in a pair of industries struggling to adapt to shifting market dynamics: electricity and broadband.