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.

Michigan congresswoman backs bill to boost electric vehicles

SOLAR: Utility-scale solar is poised for growth in Iowa where it can complement an already robust wind industry. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• An Indianapolis pilot project aims to install solar panels free of charge at 20 low- and middle-income households. (Indiana Environmental Reporter)
• A municipal utility in northern Wisconsin expects to have its first community solar project online later this year. (Superior Telegram)
• Electricity costs are expected to decline for residents in an Ohio village after the installation of a solar project. (Spectrum News)
• About 250 construction jobs are still available for Michigan’s largest solar project.

Xcel Energy coal plant proposal could save ratepayers millions

TRANSPORTATION: Chicago’s new fees on ride sharing services are meant to reduce congestion while also supporting a more equitable and lower-carbon transportation system. (Energy News Network)

COAL: Xcel Energy offers to run its Minnesota coal plants seasonally rather than self-committing to the market, which analysts have found could save ratepayers tens of millions of dollars annually. (Utility Dive)

***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!***

SOLAR:
• Developers of two solar projects totaling 400 MW in Appalachian Ohio may have to build incrementally, likely lowering the projects’ economic impact. (Energy News Network)
• Officials in Springfield, Illinois, reach an agreement to keep retail net metering in place to give certainty for residents who want to install solar.

Coal closures prevented thousands of deaths in Ohio Valley, study finds

COAL: An estimated 5,300 deaths were avoided in Ohio Valley states due to the early closure of coal plants between 2005 and 2016, according to a new study. (WKYU)

SOLAR: Officials in Ann Arbor, Michigan, consider building up to 24 MW of solar at a former landfill, which could power nearly all of the city’s operations. (MLive) 

***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!***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• An Illinois congressman introduces a bill to authorize $6 billion annually to support the wide-scale deployment of electric vehicle charging infrastructure. (E&E News, subscription)
• Grid operator PJM predicts electric vehicles’ power load will increase to 1,500 MW in its service territory by 2035.

Michigan’s largest solar project under construction

SOLAR: The number of customers seeking to connect solar panels in eastern Kansas plunged in 2019 after the region’s utility placed a new fee on solar customers. (Energy News Network)

ALSO:
• Residents in a mid-Michigan county are divided over a proposed 850-acre solar project. (Michigan Radio)
• Michigan’s largest solar project is under construction in the eastern part of the state. (WNEM)

***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!***

CLIMATE: Overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions dropped about 2% in 2019, driven by a nearly 10% decline from the power sector.