Michigan regulators tackle unprecedented solar backlog

GRID: Some parts of the Midwest will require new transmission to support renewable energy development while smart grid options are less risky and more flexible in other areas. (Energy News Network)

RENEWABLES:
• Michigan regulators seek input on new statewide interconnection rules, which they hope will reduce an unprecedented backlog of solar projects waiting to be built. (MiBiz)
• A Minnesota energy expert says economics is driving the state’s shift toward wind and solar. (Marshall Independent)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join an organization that is supporting the clean energy economy. The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance is hiring a Program Director in Chicago to be part of our leadership team.***

SOLAR:
• Local officials in eastern Michigan consider plans today for a 239 MW solar project, the largest proposed project in the state. (MLive)
• State regulators take public comment this week on a proposed 300 MW solar project in southwestern Wisconsin.

Michigan drops out of lawsuits challenging emissions rules

TRANSMISSION: Opponents of a proposed 120-mile transmission line from Iowa to central Wisconsin say the project is unnecessary, ecologically disruptive and could extend the life of coal plants. (Energy News Network)

EMISSIONS: Attorney General Dana Nessel removes the state of Michigan from two lawsuits challenging the Clean Power Plan and limiting coal plant emissions. (The Hill)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join an organization that is supporting the clean energy economy. The Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance is hiring a Program Director in Chicago to be part of our leadership team.***

SOLAR:
• Wisconsin regulators seek more information from two utilities looking to invest nearly $400 million in new solar projects. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• A solar carport project at Michigan State University is working as planned after its first year of operation.

Can Ohio pay for abandoned coal mine cleanup?

CLEAN ENERGY: A Minneapolis program is spurring solar and energy efficiency projects in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. (Energy News Network)

COAL:
• Ohio officials raise concerns about the health of the state’s fund used to clean up abandoned coal-mining sites as the industry struggles. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Utilities report serious groundwater contamination at coal ash storage sites in several Midwest states. (InsideClimate News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Saint Paul-based Fresh Energy as a Policy Associate. Help move Minnesota to a carbon-free economy by advocating for the generation and delivery of more wind and solar for Minnesota through policy analysis and stakeholder advocacy.

Michigan pipeline monitor offline due to shutdown

PIPELINES: A crucial computer modeling system that would help officials respond to an oil spill in Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac is offline due to the government shutdown. (MLive)

GRID: An Illinois court blocks the release of a report outlining a roadmap for the state’s future electric grid until a lawsuit over who was invited and allowed into study meetings is resolved. (Energy News Network)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Saint Paul-based Fresh Energy as a Policy Associate. Help move Minnesota to a carbon-free economy by advocating for the generation and delivery of more wind and solar for Minnesota through policy analysis and stakeholder advocacy. Learn more.***

SOLAR:
• Whether 400 MW of solar is needed is the key question for state regulators considering AEP’s renewable energy plan in southern Ohio.

Hearings begin for massive Ohio solar project

SOLAR: State regulators start hearings on AEP’s plan to build two solar projects in southern Ohio totaling 400 MW, which could be a “huge leap forward for renewables” in the state. (Dayton Daily News, E&E News, subscription)

ALSO:
• Solar advocates tell Iowa lawmakers that the industry is poised for growth there. (WHO-TV)
• Local officials in eastern and northeastern Illinois reject plans for community solar projects based on land-use concerns. (Danville Commercial-News, Herscher Pilot)
• A team of Michigan State University students unveil their latest design for a solar-powered race car at the Detroit auto show. (WNEM)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join Saint Paul-based Fresh Energy as a Policy Associate.