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John Farrell's Blog Posts

- 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...

- July 08, 2014

A 'Perfect Storm' Will Make This Utility 40 Percent Renewable

“We have a perfect storm for renewables,” says Jan TenBruggencate, second-term board member of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. The Hawaiian utility, made into a local cooperative...

- June 30, 2014

Distributed Renewable Energy Under Fire

Adapt or Die read the title of the article suggesting that electric utilities must change their business to survive, or be buried under an onslaught of local renewable energy. But utilities...

- June 24, 2014

What Your City Can Do to Fight Climate Change

The Obama administration is pushing power plant regulations to reduce carbon emissions and most states have some sort of renewable energy policy. But there's plenty of opportunity left...

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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