John Farrell's Blog Posts

- September 18, 2014

Solar lease or solar ownership? The Ultimate Solar Calculator "App" helps you choose

A few weeks ago I wrote about the potential comeback of solar ownership relative to leasing, as the cost of rooftop solar PV continues to fall and new financing options make ownership...

- September 09, 2014

A Deep Dive into the Value of Solar and the Future of Solar Energy

“Utility regulation and rates is a contact sport,” says Karl Rabago, and that makes the implementation of a new “value of solar” policy complex. Will distributed solar grow better with...

- September 03, 2014

A Rarely Tapped City Strategy for Boosting Local Renewable Energy

Many cities served by private utilities think they have little capacity to encourage local renewable energy development.  But a largely untapped tool — utility franchise contracts —...

- August 25, 2014

One Electric Utility Is Carbon Neutral Today

It’s one thing to own your utility and have a commitment to renewable energy, but it’s another thing to deliver. The municipal utility in Palo Alto, CA, set an ambitious target of 33...

- August 18, 2014

The Power of Collective Energy Purchasing

"We can't do it as an individual, but four hundred communities aggregating and asking for local wind power and solar power — that's really powerful." Oak Park, IL, is one of hundreds...

- August 12, 2014

A Few Weeds in Minnesota Decision to Allow Community Solar Gardens to Grow

Late last week, Minnesota regulators made a decision that may finally allow community solar projects to move forward (for Xcel Energy customers) in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. However,...

- August 05, 2014

Greening or Greenwashing? Illinois Cities’ Use of RECs Shows Challenges with Local Energy Choice

A recent report from the World Wildlife Fund (and others) touts how city energy aggregation is “unleashing” renewable energy in Illinois. Buying electricity on behalf of their residential...

- July 28, 2014

Choosing Local (Renewable) Power: One California Community a Leader in Collective Action

Community choice aggregation describes a situation where a town can become the bulk buyer of electricity on behalf of its residential and small business customers. Such local aggregations...

- July 22, 2014

Crying Fowl or Crying Wolf? Open Season on the Utility's Solar Duck Chart

The rapid changes to the electricity system being wrought by distributed solar have utilities crying out, and they’ve poured much of their distributed solar angst into a chart being...

- July 15, 2014

Is Solar Ownership Poised for a Comeback?

With “no money down” and “zero maintenance” to attract homeowners, solar leasing has become the overwhelming favorite for residential solar installations. And with the complexity of...

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,...

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