Xcel faces pushback for proposed Minnesota gas plant

POLITICS: U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Michigan, discusses her efforts to “build the coalition” around federal clean energy legislation. (Energy News Network) 

POWER PLANTS: Xcel Energy says it needs a new natural gas plant in central Minnesota as it transitions to carbon-free electricity, while critics say the plan “missed the mark.” (MPR News)

***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.***

GRID:
• Clean energy legislation expected this year in Illinois could push the state out of the PJM power grid. (Reuters)
• The Southwest Power Pool plans to spend $545 million in eight states over the next six years on transmission upgrades. (Utility Dive)
• Xcel Energy considers demand-side resources and “non-wires” alternatives amid distribution planning in Minnesota and Colorado.

Illinois governor says ‘urgent action’ needed on climate change

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: Chicago receives high marks in a report on resiliency planning, but questions remain about whether the city can live up to environmental justice commitments. (Energy News Network)

CLIMATE: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker says in his State of the State address that “urgent action” is needed this legislative session to address climate change, setting the stage for major clean energy legislation. (WNIJ)

***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:
• Coal plants are increasingly operating in ways they were not designed to, leading to inefficiencies and costs for ratepayers, according to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. (Utility Dive)
• An Indiana bill to slow coal plant retirements would make it the third state over the past year to pass legislation contrary to energy market forces.

Missouri lawmakers advance bill to block Grain Belt Express project

COAL: Clean energy and consumer advocates worry an Indiana bill requiring special approval to shut down coal plants is a “Trojan Horse” that could become more insidious with revisions. (Energy News Network)

GRID:
• The Missouri House votes to ban the use of eminent domain for the Grain Belt Express transmission line, a potential setback for the project. (Associated Press)
• Kansas needs more transmission to accommodate the state’s increasing wind energy portfolio, an industry analyst says. (Hutchinson News)

***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.***

CLEAN ENERGY: A Minneapolis developer wants to heat a planned food hall and apartment complex with an aquifer thermal system that could be a model as the city looks to reduce its reliance on natural gas.

General Motors to invest $2.2 billion in Detroit EV plant

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: General Motors will invest $2.2 billion in its first all-electric vehicle assembly plant in Detroit. (Detroit Free Press)

ALSO: An Ohio congressman is leading an effort to secure a $200 million federal loan for a company building an electric vehicle plant in Lordstown, Ohio. (Warren Tribune Chronicle)

***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.***

TRANSMISSION: Missouri House lawmakers vote to block the Grain Belt Express transmission line by removing the developer’s ability to use eminent domain. (St.