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.

Sherco Power Plant: The Wrong Project, for the Wrong Reasons, At a Big Cost

The proposed Sherco natural gas plant bill will soon be at Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s desk, give him a call and tell him you oppose this billion-dollar boondoggle.

Energy Democracy Media Roundup – week of February 20, 2017

This week in Energy Democracy news:

We wrote about big movements in the Minnesota legislature on co-op oversight as well as the impending Sherco natural gas plant. Anti-net metering legislation also advances in Indiana.

Featured Stories

California weighs fair pricing for distributed, centralized energy by John Farrell, CleanTechnica

Value of Utility Scale vs. Rooftop Solar Debated Amid Price Decline

Daily Energy Insider – February 14, 2017

By Kevin Randolph

Over the last decade, the price of solar installations has declined significantly, but the electric utilities industry continues to debate the value and cost effectiveness of utility scale versus rooftop solar.

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How Microgrids are Reducing Energy Costs and Increasing Reliability

Aquicore – February 10, 2017

By Alex Richardson

The American energy grid is, without a doubt, one of the most ambitious and impressive engineering feats in history. Never before has so much energy been immediately available and transmissible, and it operates on a scale that is difficult to properly imagine.

Commentary: Removing Co-op Oversight Jeopardizes Rural Solar

Midwest Energy News – February 8, 2017

By John Farrell & Karlee Weinmann

A plan floated by Minnesota lawmakers to exempt rural electric cooperatives from virtually all regulatory oversight would allow these utilities to restrict development of local solar power, even where their member-owners support renewable energy.