Wisconsin regulators approve plans for $700 million natural gas plant

NATURAL GAS: Wisconsin regulators approve plans for a $700 million natural gas plant despite concerns from clean energy advocates and a state agency. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ALSO: Minnesota regulators say Xcel Energy can purchase a $650 million gas plant through a subsidiary that won’t put ratepayers at risk. (Star Tribune)

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COAL:
• Iowa regulators will require an analysis of Interstate Power & Light’s coal fleet as part of a recent rate case decision. (Energy News Network)
• After more than a decade, two companies abandon plans to build a $2.2 billion coal plant in Kansas.

Midwest transmission project highlights challenges for grid operator 

GRID: A new 100-mile transmission line meant to move wind energy from Iowa and Missouri may relieve grid congestion in one area but worsen it elsewhere. (Greentech Media)

ALSO: More regional transmission projects are needed to bring renewable energy online and help states and cities meet clean energy goals, according to a new report. (Greentech Media)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 4th Annual Smart Cities International Symposium & Exhibition, January 21-22, 2020 in Chicago brings together thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to explore recent advances in making the Smart City a reality. Register today!***

EFFICIENCY:
• A new Minneapolis ordinance takes effect requiring an energy efficiency score on homes for sale. (Southwest Journal)
• Low-income residents need better access to home weatherization programs to avoid health risks and to lower their energy burden, a University of Michigan researcher says.

Kansas lawmakers consider financing tool for uneconomic coal plants

OIL & GAS: The cost to plug orphaned oil and gas wells in Ohio could reach $2 billion as the number of confirmed wells continues to grow. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Attorneys general from three Midwestern states join a coalition opposing the Trump administration’s plan to allow rail shipments of liquefied natural gas. (Associated Press)
• A faulty valve causes an oilfield wastewater spill on North Dakota pastureland. (Associated Press)
• U.S. electric and natural gas utilities prepare to launch an initiative to compel companies across the gas supply chain to measure and report methane emissions. (E&E News, subscription)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 4th Annual Smart Cities International Symposium & Exhibition, January 21-22, 2020 in Chicago brings together thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to explore recent advances in making the Smart City a reality.

Missouri lawmakers revive plans to block Grain Belt Express project

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: As the NAACP cautions local chapters against utility and fossil fuel influence, the Indiana chapter has for years led a vibrant energy justice movement. (Energy News Network)

TRANSMISSION: Missouri lawmakers revive efforts to block the Grain Belt Express transmission project despite prior approval from courts and regulators. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 4th Annual Smart Cities International Symposium & Exhibition, January 21-22, 2020 in Chicago brings together thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to explore recent advances in making the Smart City a reality. Register today!***

UTILITIES: Ohio consumer advocates say a utility’s grid modernization charge that was deemed unlawful by state regulators is being replaced with another improper subsidy.

Wisconsin could cut coal costs through better scheduling, advocates say

COAL: Clean energy advocates say Wisconsin utilities could see savings by following the lead of a Minnesota utility and changing the way coal plants are scheduled to operate. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ALSO:
• A southern Illinois coal company’s fight to dump mine water into a nearby river is a sign of things to come as the industry looks to cut costs amid worsening market conditions, analysts say. (Energy News Network)
• A report recommends Kansas develop a statewide energy plan and mandate integrated resource planning to help utilities transition from coal. (E&E News, subscription)
• A former coal plant decommissioned nearly three years ago in western Michigan is demolished. (FOX 17)

***SPONSORED LINK: The 4th Annual Smart Cities International Symposium & Exhibition, January 21-22, 2020 in Chicago brings together thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to explore recent advances in making the Smart City a reality.