John Farrell's Blog Posts

- April 15, 2014

An Enormous Question for ‘Solar Choice’

Two weeks ago, Minnesota’s Public Utilities Commission ratified the first-ever statewide policy for setting a fair and transparent price on solar energy. This week, a coalition of companies...

- April 09, 2014

The Method and Meaning of Minnesota's New Value of Solar Policy

In March 2014, Minnesota became the first state to adopt a “value of solar” policy to set a fair, transparent price on solar energy. It may serve as a national precedent and fundamentally...

- April 04, 2014

The Democratizing Promise of Energy Storage

While energy storage is a small fraction of total power generation capacity, promising examples suggest that distributed energy storage could change the electricity system during the...

- March 24, 2014

Better Building Codes Save Bundles [Chart]

How efficient are buildings in your community? That depends a lot on the building code, which states (and sometimes cities) can use to set minimum standards for energy efficiency. ...

- March 17, 2014

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...

- March 11, 2014

Can a Novel City-Utility Partnership Green a Big City Grid?

In pursuit of a cleaner energy future last August, the city of Minneapolis came to the brink of putting a city-owned utility on the ballot. It was the culmination of a grassroots effort...

- March 04, 2014

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...

- February 26, 2014

Is Utility 2.0 a Forecast or a Post-Mortem?

For the last six months, the energy news sphere (perhaps led by the Edison Electric Institute) has been rife with a discussion about the threat to the utility business from distributed...

- February 19, 2014

The #1 Solar Utility Is in…Iowa?

It may be one of the oldest cooperative utilities in the country, but in the next six months, Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) of southeastern Iowa will be leading the nation in this...

- February 03, 2014

Natural Gas Isn’t a Bridge Fuel, It’s a Gateway Drug

In his State of the Union, President Obama added to the conventional wisdom that supplanting coal with natural gas will act as a bridge toward a climate solution. Unfortunately, gas...

John Farrell

John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at ILSR and he focuses on energy policy developments that best expand the benefits of local ownership and dispersed generation of renewable energy. His latest paper,...

Total Access Partners

Growing Your Business? Learn More about Total Access