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Expanding opportunities for solar collaboration in Minnesota -- and at SEPA

Earlier this month, Julia Hamm, SEPA's CEO, traveled to Minnesota to do something she, or any other SEPA representative, had never done before -- testify at a state legislative hearing. Her appearance at the hearing reflects the increasingly rapid transitions underway in the utility and solar industries, the resulting challenges for policy makers and SEPA’s own evolution to stay in front of these changes.

Solar is from Mars, Utilities are from Venus - Finding a Common Language for Net Energy Metering

Have you noticed increasing attention being paid to potential impacts from higher levels of solar distributed generation (DG)? Does the conversation sound like productive dialogue or an excerpt for a daytime drama? What is that sausage making they call ratemaking? What should be considered when valuing the costs and benefits of DG? What costs are fixed for the electrical system? And what, exactly, is net-energy metering (NEM)?

Are Commissions No Longer Needed for Clean Energy?

Electric utilities are often criticized for their risk-adverse nature and being perceived as a roadblock to efforts that will modernize or “green up” the grid. For stakeholders advocating change, it can feel as though they’re waiting for a tanker to quickly change course. And even when utilities are perceived as moving in the right overall direction, proponents of renewable energy, smart grid technologies, distributed generation, and other “modernizing” technologies may disagree with the deployment, investment, or program rollout options that are chosen.