Learn about Solar in Texas, North Texas, and Plano (in 5 minutes)

Watch these three short informational videos. Spread the word and help them go internet viral in Texas, North Texas, and Plano!

Could Minnesota’s “Value of Solar” Make Everyone a Winner?

On Wednesday, Minnesota became the first state to allow utilities a new method of contracting with distributed solar producers, called the market-based “value of solar.” If adopted by utilities, it will fundamentally change the relationship between solar-producing customers and their electric utility.

Following Minnesota’s Value of Solar Process? Here are a few resources:

How Can Communities Leverage a Better Energy Future? – Episode 17 of Local Energy Rules

How can a community take control of its energy future from a 100-year monopoly electric utility?  Citizens of Boulder, CO, are testing answers to that question, trying to discover how a single city can do more for its economy and the environment with more power over its energy system. At the core of their efforts is a grassroots campaign to form a city-owned utility, an effort that faced an enormous test at the ballot box in November 2013.

AEP Wants New 4.4% Rate Increase from WV Customers

According to this morning’s story in the Charleston Gazette, APCo and Wheeling Power, WV electric utilities owned by Ohio-based holding company AEP, AEP is asking the WV PSC for a new 4.4% rate increase to cover primarily higher costs for fuel (coal) and other variable costs, in WV PSC-speak Expanded Net Energy Costs (ENEC).

Yet Another PJM Study Shows High Levels of Renewable Power Can Be Easily Integrated Into Regional Grid

PJM has just released a new study it commissioned to analyze the impacts of integrating large amounts of renewable power into its grid management system.  This report is somewhat similar to a Synapse study that PJM released last May.

Five Reasons Solar’s Win Over Gas in Minnesota is Just the Beginning

Solar advocates were popping corks when a New Year’s Eve ruling by an administrative law judge in Minnesota said that distributed solar arrays were a more cost-effective resource than natural gas to meet Xcel Energy’s peak power needs. The energy media were aflutter for weeks, but many missed the bigger significance.

If solar trumps gas for peaking power in Minnesota, there’s little reason to be building new natural gas peaking capacity anywhere in the country.  Ever again.

John Farrell Talks Energy Decentralization on Thom Hartmann’s Big Picture

What is energy decentralization, who’s doing it, and why does it matter? John Farrell, Director of Democratic Energy, answers these questions in an interview segment with Thom Hartmann on his Big Picture program on February 18, 2014. Skip to 30:06 to see John’s interview.


Hawaii’s Test Case for Solar Grid Penetration

Huffington Post, February 22, 2014

Two years ago, the state of Hawaii made history in the U.S. by becoming the first place where solar reached, and then exceeded grid parity with dirtier sources of energy. The Institute for Local Self Reliance published a study showing that even without any incentives, the simple payback for residential and commercial solar applications reached below 10 years, and with incentives, could be as quick as less than a year.