Michigan governor changes course on Line 5 tunnel oversight

PIPELINES: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican lawmakers scrap plans for an existing authority to oversee a potential tunnel for the Line 5 pipeline and will likely create a new entity for the project. (Detroit Free Press)

ALSO:
• Author and pipeline activist Winona LaDuke is among several applicants seeking an open seat on the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. (Associated Press)
• The Dakota Access pipeline developer and investors may have lost billions due to the way the company managed social risks in the lead-up to construction, a new report says. (Desmog Blog)

***SPONSORED LINK: The Minnesota Sustainable Growth Coalition is looking for its next Program Manager. Apply today to help the business-led coalition advance the region toward a circular economy.***

SOLAR:
• Wisconsin’s largest solar group-buying program is spearheaded by an all-volunteer citizen-led nonprofit in the northern, rural part of the state.

Wisconsin businesses increasingly turn to solar power

SOLAR: Thirty Minnesota inmates take a solar installation training course amid growing demand for clean energy employees. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• A growing number of Wisconsin businesses install solar panels as prices continue to drop. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
• Local officials advance plans for a 150 MW solar project in eastern Illinois. (Illinois Public Media)
• An Illinois bank installs solar panels at its fifth branch to meet most of its power needs. (The Dispatch-Rock Island Argus)
• An Ohio wholesale food distributor gets 35 percent of its power from solar.

Lawsuits and an oil boom 2 years after Dakota Access protests

OIL & GAS:
• Two years after the Dakota Access pipeline protests, legal challenges remain while North Dakota’s oil industry is booming once again. (NPR)
• Michigan advocates say the full costs of oil and gas pipelines are not being considered as new projects are proposed. (WEMU)

WIND:
• Kansas is a growing hub for wind development, which makes up more than one-third of the state’s energy portfolio and has brought thousands of direct and indirect jobs. (KWCH)
• A new agreement will power nearly 350 Illinois Starbucks locations with wind power. (Bloomberg)
• NextEra expects to complete construction in the next month on a 43-turbine wind project in western Iowa.

Report spotlights toxic coal ash pollution in Illinois

COAL ASH: Coal ash sites at 22 Illinois coal plants have elevated groundwater contamination, according to a new report. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• One site includes a former Dynegy plant north of St. Louis along the Mississippi River. (Alton Telegraph)
• Advocates urge Illinois lawmakers to adopt stricter regulations around coal ash storage. (Champaign News-Gazette)

***SPONSORED LINK: Nearly every nation pledged to cut emissions in the Paris Agreement — but few pledges have been translated into actual policy plans.

Illinois county to approve dozens of projects amid solar surge

SOLAR: Officials in Kankakee County, Illinois, expect to approve 48 solar projects totaling two square miles as developers look to secure renewable energy credits. (Kankakee Daily Journal)

ALSO:
• A Swiss clean energy company reaches a deal with a Nebraska power producer to develop 2,000 MW of solar across six Midwest states. (Platts)
• A Detroit-area nonprofit offers bulk-buying to expand solar energy access to residents in Highland Park. (In These Times)
• Local officials in southern Michigan delay action on solar zoning amendments following a wave a public comments. (Sturgis Journal)
• A Kansas City company acquires the rights to 22 MW of solar projects under development in North Carolina.