Missouri regulators approve Grain Belt Express wind transmission project

TRANSMISSION: Missouri regulators unanimously approve plans for the Grain Belt Express transmission project, which will move Kansas wind energy to eastern markets but has faced uncertainty for years. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

TECHNOLOGY: ComEd tests the potential of off-grid street lights powered by wind, solar and battery storage in Chicago. (Energy News Network)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend Infocast’s Midwest Renewable Energy Summit, April 16-18 in Chicago to connect with the entire Midwest renewable energy community. Get the latest insights into the market and explore how changing economics and the coming PTC expiration will affect solar and wind.

Enbridge again leads political lobbying in Minnesota

RENEWABLES: A new Illinois bill would increase the state’s renewable portfolio standard and let utilities raise rates to pay for needed investments to support the goal. (Energy News Network)

ALSO: Clean energy advocates are disappointed that the mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, hasn’t called for Indiana Michigan Power to increase its renewable energy portfolio. (Fort Wayne Journal Gazette)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend Infocast’s Midwest Renewable Energy Summit, April 16-18 in Chicago to connect with the entire Midwest renewable energy community. Get the latest insights into the market and explore how changing economics and the coming PTC expiration will affect solar and wind. Register today!***

POLITICS: Enbridge spent $11 million in 2018 — more than double the year before — on lobbying Minnesota regulators in support of the Line 3 pipeline project.

Iowa lawmakers advance fee for solar customers

SOLAR: The Iowa Senate passes a bill that would add a new fee for most utility customers with solar panels. (Radio Iowa)

ALSO:
• A developer says snow build-up on solar panels can temporarily reduce production but it is not a major hindrance. (Energy News Network)
• Wisconsin’s Dairyland Power Cooperative finalizes a power purchase agreement to buy 149 MW of solar capacity. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Rural electric cooperatives have sharply increased their solar capacity in recent years as they transition from coal contracts. (E&E News, subscription)
• Plans move forward for a 25 MW solar project at a northwestern Illinois industrial park.

Judge blocks Keystone XL construction amid environmental review

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: ComEd prepares to expand an electric vehicle ride-sharing pilot program as the utility researches how it can benefit the local grid. (Energy News Network)

POLICY:
• A broad proposal in Ohio to slash state regulations by 30 percent across the board could further tilt the playing field against renewable energy by relaxing rules on utilities and fossil fuels. (Energy News Network)
• Multiple Midwest governors join other states in setting strong emission-reduction goals. (Bloomberg)

***SPONSORED LINK: Attend Infocast’s Midwest Renewable Energy Summit, April 16-18 in Chicago to connect with the entire Midwest renewable energy community. Get the latest insights into the market and explore how changing economics and the coming PTC expiration will affect solar and wind.

Wisconsin utility rejects shareholder call for clean energy plan

UTILITIES: Madison Gas & Electric objects to a shareholder resolution seeking a coal transition plan, which the SEC called an attempt to “micromanage” the utility. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ACTIVISM:
• As students across the world plan climate strikes today, polling suggests most Ohio adults agree with youth activists’ call for climate action and a transition to clean energy. (Energy News Network)
• A United Nations representative and key architect of the Paris climate agreement tells University of Michigan students to maintain “stubborn optimism.” (MLive)

***SPONSORED LINK: Network and learn about cutting-edge energy topics at Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council’s 7th Annual Member Meeting. Google’s Vince Faherty to keynote. April 23 in East Lansing, MI.