Minnesota regulators delay ruling on $700M gas plant

NATURAL GAS: Minnesota regulators delay a decision on a proposed $700 million natural gas plant in Superior, Wisconsin, as they consider arguments on the need for an environmental review. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ALSO: The proposed plant is the latest in the Midwest to face challenges from environmental groups over utilities’ stated capacity needs. (E&E News, subscription)

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SOLAR: County officials in northwestern Illinois advance plans for three of eight proposed solar projects, including a 70 MW installation. (The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus)

POLICY: Containing coal ash storage in Indiana and limiting the impacts of fossil fuel development in North Dakota and South Dakota are top science policy issues in those states. (Popular Science)

GRID:
• A state forecast shows Indiana will need 9,300 MW of new generation by 2035 from natural gas, wind, solar and energy efficiency to meet demand as plants close.

Minnesota regulators to consider if utility needs new gas plant

NATURAL GAS:  Minnesota regulators consider today whether to let a northern Minnesota utility invest in a new natural gas power plant across the border in Wisconsin. The project is opposed by large customers and clean energy advocates. (Minnesota Public Radio, Energy News Network)

SOLAR:
• Ameren Missouri is building a community solar project near the St. Louis airport to expand renewable options for customers. (St.

Walmart makes big wind energy buy in Indiana, Illinois

CORRECTION: Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline passes through the Straits of Mackinac. Two items in yesterday’s digest mistakenly referred to it as Line 3. WIND: Walmart makes a deal to purchase 233 MW of wind energy from three new wind farms in Indiana and Illinois. (Power Engineering Magazine)

ALSO:
• How thinking big helped get a major wind project on Sioux tribal land off the ground. (GreenBiz)
• Illinois regulators hold a policy session to examine wind energy’s impact on the grid and discuss ways to take better advantage of the state’s potential.

Trump’s coal bailout plan falters over cost concerns

COAL: Sources say the White House has shelved a plan to prop up uneconomic coal plants by invoking national security concerns, in part because “the political will to pay for it is not broadly there.” (Politico)

ALSO: An Illinois official says a permit for a proposed coal mine is expected to be issued this fall, while opponents have long said the project threatens a nearby scenic river. (News-Gazette, Energy News Network archive)

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PIPELINES:
• The U.S. Coast Guard establishes a no-anchor zone in the Straits of Mackinac to prevent damage to utility lines and the Line 5 3 oil pipeline. (MLive)
• A Mackinac Island ferry operator questions why the Line 5 3 pipeline wasn’t shut down during rough weather in September. (Detroit News)

TRANSMISSION: A decision by federal regulators will help clear the way for a proposed transmission line buried within a railroad corridor from Iowa to Illinois that will help open up markets for wind energy. Background on the project here.

MacArthur and Exelon lay out an action plan on climate

CLIMATE: In a joint op-ed, the president of the MacArthur Foundation and the CEO of Exelon Corporation, both based in Chicago, propose four priorities to fight climate change — including nuclear power. (Time) Disclosure: The MacArthur Foundation is a major funder of the Energy News Network. ALSO: Candidates for an Indiana U.S. Senate seat largely evade a question about climate change at a recent debate. (Journal Gazette)

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UTILITIES:
• A recent Michigan regulatory ruling offers good news and bad news for independent power producers in the state. (Energy News Network)
• Xcel Energy seeks to expand its renewable energy program to Wisconsin customers.