Michigan regulators demand changes to DTE Energy’s long-range plan

Clarification: Michigan regulators ordered major changes to DTE Energy’s long-range energy plan but did not issue a formal rejection. UTILITIES: Michigan regulators demand changes to DTE Energy’s long-range energy plan, telling the utility to work with stakeholders to improve its modeling for how it might transition to new generation sources. (Michigan Radio)

TRANSPORTATION: Chicago has made strides to become a more bike-friendly city, but bicycling remains unsafe and impractical in many minority neighborhoods, bicycle riders and advocates say. (Energy News Network)

***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.***

ELECTRIC VEHICLES:
• A rapid transition to electric cars and how it may affect supply chains “is going to be a really tough political issue” in Michigan, according to some experts.

North Dakota regulators approve Dakota Access Pipeline expansion

Correction: City officials in Greenville, Michigan, are exploring whether to expand solar generation at a wastewater treatment plant. An item in Wednesday’s email misidentified the jurisdiction. PIPELINES: North Dakota regulators approve a proposed expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline that would double the line’s capacity. (Bismarck Tribune) 

ALSO:
• The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe says North Dakota’s Public Service Commission “failed to do its job” by approving the pipeline expansion. (KXMB-TV)
• Amid protests by tribal members, the South Dakota House passes a “riot boosting” bill that broadens criminal liability for demonstrations.

Minnesota solar jobs decline amid national growth

SOLAR: Minnesota solar jobs declined nearly 6% in 2019 while the sector grew more than 2% nationally, according to a Solar Foundation report. (Star Tribune)

ALSO:
• A We Energies program that partners with various entities to host solar projects passes the 5 MW milestone. (WTMJ)
• County City officials in mid-Michigan explore expanding solar generation while renovating a wastewater treatment plant to qualify for additional state grant funding. (Daily News)
• A 20 MW solar project nears completion in western Kansas that will be the largest in the state. (KSNW)

***SPONSORED LINK: MEEA invites you to Chicago, February 26-28 for the 19th annual Midwest Energy Solutions Conference.

Efficient street lighting is saving Chicago $10 million a year, officials say

EFFICIENCY: Chicago is saving $10 million a year in electricity costs after switching to LED streetlights. (CBS Chicago)

ALSO:
• A recent study by the University of Michigan and Whirlpool shows dishwashers are generally more energy efficient than standard hand-washing methods. (MLive)
• Research by Alliant Energy shows utility customers can save 9% on electric bills by limiting “phantom” power sources like electronics. (WXPR)

***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.***

SOLAR:
• Developers are expected to announce plans today for a 128 MW solar project in South Dakota, which would be the state’s largest.

Wind leases provide certainty for U.S. farmers in uncertain times

WIND: Wind energy leases have provided additional revenue for U.S. farmers as crop income becomes more uncertain. (USA Today)

ALSO: Recent commitments to renewable energy by Indiana utilities were a “wakeup call” for wind developers, an industry association says. (Inside Indiana Business)

***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.***

SOLAR:
• Michigan State University officials approve a 20 MW solar project that is expected to save more than $1 million a year in energy costs. (Lansing State Journal)
• Fourth graders helped lead an effort to install solar panels at a northern Illinois elementary school that will save about $90,000 a year.