Ford investigates whether emissions testing was skewed

EFFICIENCY:
• Utilities could improve participation in energy efficiency programs by using surveys and smart meter data to tailor messages to individual customers, a new report says. (Energy News Network)
• Businesses in a southwestern Michigan city can receive energy efficiency rebates through a new utility program. (ABC57)

EMISSIONS:
• Ford investigates whether incorrect computer modeling may have caused it to misstate fuel economy and emissions during government testing. (Detroit News)
• A Minnesota company helps three university campuses meet carbon-neutrality goals. (Pioneer Press)

WIND: The Ohio Power Siting Board approves a 125 MW wind project near the Indiana border.

Regulations not keeping pace with fracking boom, advocates warn

OIL & GAS:
• Natural gas pipeline explosions in Ohio highlight concerns over lax pipeline safety regulations as the fracking industry grows. (Rolling Stone)
• The CEO of Consumers Energy details how a fire at a natural gas compressor station caused an emergency for the company during the polar vortex. (Detroit Free Press)

SOLAR:
• Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz proposes $20 million over the next two years for grants that help schools install solar panels. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• A majority of residents speak at a public hearing in favor of a proposed 100 MW solar project in southern Ohio. (Hillsboro Times-Gazette)
• University of Minnesota researchers propose solar financing for low-income households to offset operating costs.

Minnesota sets bold electric vehicle target by 2030

EFFICIENCY: Iowa regulators approve MidAmerican Energy’s five-year efficiency plan that provides fewer resources for customers to cut energy use. (Energy News Network)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Minnesota transportation officials call for 20 percent of all cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks to be electrified by 2030. (Minnesota Public Radio)
• The CEO of electric pickup truck startup Rivian discusses the vehicle’s technology and plans to bring it to market by late 2020. (Greentech Media)

RENEWABLES: A Wisconsin conservative who “spent 10 years arguing against renewables” tells Republican state lawmakers to embrace the industry as costs decline. (Wisconsin State Journal)

SOLAR:
• Local officials in southeastern Minnesota approve four separate 1 MW solar projects as the county’s solar capacity continues to grow.

Ameren Missouri customers clamor for solar

SOLAR: Ameren Missouri reports strong interest in its first community solar project and starts a waitlist for future solar purchases. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

ALSO:
• Invenergy signs leases with landowners in southeastern Wisconsin for a potential 250 MW solar project. (Janesville Gazette)
• A northern Michigan city approves plans to repurpose a blighted industrial property with solar power. (9&10 News)

***SPONSORED LINK: Join MEEA and 600 energy efficiency experts at the 2019 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference, February 20-22 in Chicago.

New owner for wind transmission project sparks optimism

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• Dynamic pricing could help Illinois prepare for increased electric vehicle charging while benefiting all utility customers. (Energy News Network)
• Amazon will lead a $700 million investment in Michigan-based electric pickup truck startup Rivian. (Reuters)

TRANSMISSION: A change in ownership of the Grain Belt Express wind power transmission project sparks optimism about the project’s future. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

***SPONSORED LINK: Register now for the Midwest Cogeneration Association’s Energy Policy & the Case for CHP Conference, February 19 in Chicago.