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As North Texas Grows, Let's Grow it "Solar Ready"

Building a new home, or know someone who is?  Then make sure the builder designs and builds it "Solar Ready"!

North Texas continues to grow.  According to various estimates, the population could double over the next decades and along with that a million new homes could be constructed.  Providing clean energy will be one the key challenges for the region. However, with this new home construction, comes the great opportunity to leverage our local clean energy resource from the sun!

Aggregate Net Metering

placeholderFor larger electric customers, net metering has a hitch. In many states, the solar array (or other power generation) has to be attached to the same building (or meter) that the entity wants to offset. So if Building A has a great roof for solar but Building B is where all the energy is used, tough luck.

Kansas City’s Royal Effort to Solarize City Rooftops – Episode 25 of Local Energy Rules

Kansas City, MO, has neither the abundant sunshine nor high cost of electricity that have driven solar installations in other cities. Despite this, the city has close to 1.5 MW of solar in 59 separate installations on municipal properties. Thanks to utility rebates, two department leaders, and a unique opportunity that allowed it to access the 30% federal tax credit, the city was able to make solar work in an otherwise challenging climate of modest sun and low electricity prices.

Duking It Out Over Municipal Solar in Raleigh – Episode 24 of Local Energy Rules

There aren’t many solar success stories from the Southeast, making Raleigh, NC, stand out in a region with low-cost electricity and modest sunshine. With just over 2 megawatts of solar on public property––providing close to 7% of municipal building peak demand––Raleigh’s solar success comes despite state rules preventing city from buying electricity from any non-utility entity.

Don’t Count On It: First City-Utility Clean Energy Work Plan Short on Specifics

On Friday, the nation’s first clean energy partnership between a city and its utilities released its first two-year work plan. It holds true to the notion that the city and utilities can work across a broad swath of energy initiatives in pursuit of increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Update 6/16/15: added in list of suggested metrics from the Work Plan and cleaned up some language to indicate that metrics haven’t been adopted yet.

Nation’s First City-Utility Clean Energy Partnership Workplan

On Friday, the nation’s first clean energy partnership between a city and its utilities released its first two-year work plan. Would it be a visionary commitment to ambitious climate and equity goals? Or would it muddle in the status quo?

Truthfully, it does a bit of both.

Lancaster: The Leading Solar City? – Episode 23 of Local Energy Rules

Jason Caudle, city manager with the City of Lancaster, talked with John Farrell in April 2015 about his city’s solar boom. With more than 118 MW of solar, both private and public, operating within city limits, Lancaster is well on its way to producing or procuring 530 MW of clean energy by 2020. Hitting that target would make Lancaster one of the world’s first net-zero towns, producing more energy on an average day than the city consumes.

Press Release: Public Rooftop Revolution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2015

CONTACT: Rebecca Toews rebecca@ILSR.org

(612) 808-0689

Public Rooftop Revolution

In Public Rooftop Revolution, ILSR estimates that mid-sized cities could install as much as 5,000 megawatts of solar—as much as one-quarter of all solar installed in the U.S. to date—on municipal property, with little to no upfront cash.

 

Public Rooftop Revolution Report

5 gigs municipal solarThere are a lot of stories on residential rooftop solar but few if any on wha

The Hole in Brian Potts’ WSJ Critique of the “Solar-Panel Craze.”

In his Sunday Wall Street Journal commentary on May 17, Brian Potts suggests that cost is the bottom line in the electric customer shift to solar, and that rooftop solar costs too much. But his defense of the utility’s view of energy costs leaves a big hole in the big picture: the value of solar energy and the cost of maintaining an antiquated system of monopoly control.

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