Minnesota solar jobs decline amid national growth

SOLAR: Minnesota solar jobs declined nearly 6% in 2019 while the sector grew more than 2% nationally, according to a Solar Foundation report. (Star Tribune)

ALSO:
• A We Energies program that partners with various entities to host solar projects passes the 5 MW milestone. (WTMJ)
• County City officials in mid-Michigan explore expanding solar generation while renovating a wastewater treatment plant to qualify for additional state grant funding. (Daily News)
• A 20 MW solar project nears completion in western Kansas that will be the largest in the state. (KSNW)

***SPONSORED LINK: MEEA invites you to Chicago, February 26-28 for the 19th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference.

Efficient street lighting is saving Chicago $10 million a year, officials say

EFFICIENCY: Chicago is saving $10 million a year in electricity costs after switching to LED streetlights. (CBS Chicago)

ALSO:
• A recent study by the University of Michigan and Whirlpool shows dishwashers are generally more energy efficient than standard hand-washing methods. (MLive)
• Research by Alliant Energy shows utility customers can save 9% on electric bills by limiting “phantom” power sources like electronics. (WXPR)

***SPONSORED LINK: MEEA invites you to Chicago, February 26-28 for the 19th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference. At the Midwest’s premier energy efficiency conference, you’ll join industry leaders for three days of panels, workshops, networking opportunities and celebrations of industry successes.***

SOLAR:
• Developers are expected to announce plans today for a 128 MW solar project in South Dakota, which would be the state’s largest.

Wind leases provide certainty for U.S. farmers in uncertain times

WIND: Wind energy leases have provided additional revenue for U.S. farmers as crop income becomes more uncertain. (USA Today)

ALSO: Recent commitments to renewable energy by Indiana utilities were a “wakeup call” for wind developers, an industry association says. (Inside Indiana Business)

***SPONSORED LINK: MEEA invites you to Chicago, February 26-28 for the 19th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference. At the Midwest’s premier energy efficiency conference, you’ll join industry leaders for three days of panels, workshops, networking opportunities and celebrations of industry successes.***

SOLAR:
• Michigan State University officials approve a 20 MW solar project that is expected to save more than $1 million a year in energy costs. (Lansing State Journal)
• Fourth graders helped lead an effort to install solar panels at a northern Illinois elementary school that will save about $90,000 a year.

Michigan utility defends long-term energy plan amid criticism

UTILITIES: DTE Energy’s president defends the company’s long-term energy plan, saying the utility mostly agrees with environmental groups’ concerns but that it has to balance those with cost and reliability. (WXYZ)

ALSO:
• An Indiana electric cooperative approves a long-term energy plan that reduces carbon emissions 80% and saves $700 million over the next 20 years. (Greensburg Daily News)
• Exelon officials say a federal investigation into its lobbying activities could subject the company to civil or criminal penalties. (Utility Dive)

***SPONSORED LINK: MEEA invites you to Chicago, February 26-28 for the 19th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference. At the Midwest’s premier energy efficiency conference, you’ll join industry leaders for three days of panels, workshops, networking opportunities and celebrations of industry successes.***

COAL:
• Great River Energy says decisions on the future of North Dakota’s largest coal plant will be made later this year.

Ohio group pushes local clean energy action as state, federal efforts lag

EFFICIENCY: Proposed legislation in Iowa would require landlords to disclose typical utility costs to potential renters, which advocates say could help spur energy efficiency investments. (Energy News Network)

CLEAN ENERGY: A new Ohio group pushes local governments to take action on renewable energy, efficiency and electric vehicles after feeling stymied by state and federal lawmakers. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

***SPONSORED LINK: MEEA invites you to Chicago, February 26-28 for the 19th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference. At the Midwest’s premier energy efficiency conference, you’ll join industry leaders for three days of panels, workshops, networking opportunities and celebrations of industry successes.***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Madison, Wisconsin, considers an ordinance that would make it easier for facilities to install EV charging stations. (Wisconsin State Journal)

POLLUTION: Nearly half of all U.S. air pollution-related deaths are linked to cross-state sources, the largest source of which are fossil fuel plants.