Missouri lawmakers take aim at transmission project

TRANSMISSION: The Missouri House passes legislation to prohibit the use of eminent domain for the Grain Belt Express wind transmission project, which developers say would halt the plan. (Associated Press)

ALSO: Nebraska lawmakers advance a bill that could make it harder to install wind energy transmission lines on private property if landowners object. (Associated Press)

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WIND:
• An Ohio cement plant signs a long-term agreement for wind energy as the company and others seek to reduce carbon emissions for an energy-intensive sector.

FirstEnergy says closing nuclear plants would harm customers more

NUCLEAR:
• FirstEnergy officials tell state lawmakers that closing two nuclear plants in Ohio would increase electric bills and emissions. (Toledo Blade)
• Critics say the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission isn’t doing enough to require nuclear plant owners to take preventative measures as climate change risks worsen. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY:
• Some city officials in ComEd’s service territory are still wary about the upfront cost of replacing streetlights with LEDs despite financial incentives and long-term energy savings. (Energy News Network)
• The Nebraska Energy Office offers low-interest loans for energy efficiency improvements at homes and farms, regardless of whether the properties were affected by recent flooding. (Omaha World-Herald)

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FirstEnergy has spent millions to influence policy in Ohio

OHIO: As state lawmakers consider subsidies for the FirstEnergy’s power plants, the company has spent millions of dollars on campaign contributions, lobbying, and public relations in Ohio since 2017. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

ALSO:
• Ohio lawmakers begin considering the emissions benefits of maintaining uneconomic nuclear plants, acknowledging that a bailout for FirstEnergy’s plants is the “white elephant in the room.” (Columbus Dispatch)
• AARP Ohio tells lawmakers it strongly opposes any efforts to require electric ratepayers to subsidize uneconomic power plants. (Energy News Network)

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PIPELINES: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer does not rule out the potential for an underground tunnel for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac as she reopens discussions with Enbridge.

Illinois bill would promote solar, storage at former coal plants

POLICY: Ohio Republicans introduce a bill that would provide subsidies for two nuclear plants while defunding renewable energy and efficiency programs. (Energy News Network)

COAL: The owner of a fleet of southern Illinois coal plants supports state legislation that would provide funding to repurpose them for solar and energy storage. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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SOLAR:
• For every solar project moving forward under the state’s renewable energy credit lottery system, many more are stalled on a waitlist.

Two major solar projects approved in Wisconsin

SOLAR: Wisconsin regulators approve two large-scale solar projects that will increase the state’s solar capacity nearly five-fold. (Milwaukee Daily Reporter)

ALSO:
• North Dakota considers a rule change that would allow large-scale solar projects on prime farmland. (Energy News Network)
• Illinois’ lottery for renewable energy credits awards five solar projects in the Rockford area as well as an installation at a wastewater treatment plant. (Rockford Register Star, WGIL)

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