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Minnesota Regulators Eye Subcommittee to Resolve Distributed Generation Disputes

Better technology and falling costs for years have buoyed the clean energy economy, steadily putting rooftop solar, energy efficiency, and other distributed energy resources within reach of more U.S. households and businesses. Still, many utilities remain averse to accommodating these amenities despite significant — and rising — demand in the marketplace.

In Minnesota, utilities and regulators plan for the grid of the future

Midwest Energy News – May 22, 2017

By Frank Jossi

Minnesota regulators recently heard proposals from Xcel Energy to introduce a sophisticated new electric grid software platform and to build an energy storage system instead of a substation.

Pioneering Community Solar in the Granite State – Episode 44 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

New Hampshire, home to some of the highest utility costs in the nation, could be fertile ground for community energy projects that promote lower-cost, renewable generation — especially after investors in one shared solar array pioneered a strategy to promote greater local ownership.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of May 15, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

This week we are featured in a number of great articles that range from inclusive financing policies by utilities, the appeal of energy democracy for cooperatives, and how states are rolling back environmental laws in the Trump era. Check them all out, below!

Economic Democracy and the Billion-Dollar Co-op

The Nation – May 8, 2017

By Nathan Schneider

States Move to Roll Back Environmental Rules in Trump’s Wake

Bloomberg – May 5, 2017

By Ari Natter

Emboldened by the environmental rollbacks of President Donald Trump, state legislatures are following suit, taking aim at items as varied as solar incentives, chemical spill protections and, even, anti-pipeline protesters.

Would You Pay 5% More for Local Energy?

In recent months, a raft of cities and states pushed up their renewable energy targets to 50%, 80%, or even 100%. But how will that energy be delivered? Will it be from the top down, by merchant wind and solar power plants? Or from the bottom up, by customers producing their own power?

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of May 1, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

The governor of Montana vetoed an anti-solar bill from the legislature, Boulder is moving forward on its municipalization, and Curbed Magazine features a Brooklyn microgrid.

Featured Stories:

Boulder City Council votes to proceed with municipalization by Jeannine Anderson, Public Power Daily

Westchester Power Puts New York Communities in Charge of Energy Future – Episode 43 of Local Energy Rules Podcast

A growing number of small- and mid-size communities are harnessing their shared market power to promote local renewable energy. Using a state policy called community choice aggregation, these communities can unseat powerful monopoly utilities and seize greater control over their energy futures by choosing their electricity suppliers or generating their own power.

Xcel Has Room for Renewable Generation on its Minnesota Grid. So Where Is It?

Determining exactly how much local renewable generation can reach Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota hinges in part on how many of these projects the existing grid can accommodate. To that end, the state’s Public Utilities Commission compelled the utility last year to report on more than 1,000 “feeders” delivering electricity to homes and businesses across its Twin Cities service territory.

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