City Poised To Adopt 1st-Of-Its-Kind US Partnership With Utilities

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Credit: Sundial Solar

Ever wonder what happened to the notion last August that the city of Minneapolis (MN) would take over its energy utilities? While it may seem like the issue vanished, last Monday the Minneapolis City Council held a hearing on another way forward to a better energy future. On the table is a novel partnership between the city and Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy to meet the city’s ambitious equity, energy and environmental goals.

Why should the city opt for an untested utility partnership?

Over the past several years, Minneapolis has developed a comprehensive sustainability plan, including these ambitious targets: generating 10 percent of energy from local renewable energy sources, cutting energy use by 17 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2025. But there’s a big fly in the sustainability ointment. Two-thirds of the emissions from city residents and businesses come from energy sold by Xcel and CenterPoint.

In other words, the city’s sustainability success hinges on its ability to influence the use of its two largest energy sources: electricity and gas.

Read more of this published commentary at the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Photo Credit: Sundial Solar


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John Farrell

John directs the Democratic Energy 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 seminal paper, Democratizing the Electricity System, describes how to blast the roadblocks to distributed renewable energy generation, and how such small-scale renewable energy projects are the key to the biggest strides in renewable energy development.   Farrell also authored the landmark report Energy Self-Reliant States, which serves as the definitive energy atlas for the United States, detailing the state-by-state renewable electricity generation potential. Farrell regularly provides discussion and analysis of distributed renewable energy policy on his blog, Energy Self-Reliant States (energyselfreliantstates.org), and articles are regularly syndicated on Grist and Renewable Energy World.   John Farrell can also be found on Twitter @johnffarrell, or at jfarrell@ilsr.org.

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