Friday, May 17, 2013

John Farrell - Joy Hughes Interview: A Community Solar Gold Standard

Joy Hughes was living in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, a place with a “tremendous amount of solar potential,” so good that the valley’s residents were being overwhelmed by proposals for large scale solar power plants. One had a “field of things like radar dishes” and another included a “600 foot tower.” The influx of outside companies seeking solar profit led Joy to ask, “Why not just set up solar arrays that can provide power for people in the local community and offset their electric bills?”

The Solar Gardens Institute was born, with a vision of helping community members pool their resources, produce their own energy, and keep their energy dollars local.

John Farrell is a senior researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its work on democratic energy.

John is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy.

He’s the author of Energy Self-Reliant States, a state-by-state atlas of renewable energy potential highlighted in the New York Times,  showing that most states don’t need to look outside their borders to meet their electricity needs.  He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and polished the policies necessary to support locally owned renewable energy development.

Listen and read more:

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