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.

Report: Maine transmission line won’t reduce emissions

TRANSMISSION:
• A proposed transmission line that would run from Canada to Massachusetts wouldn’t reduce carbon pollution because it would only redirect existing hydroelectricity, according to a new report; developers dispute the reports findings. (Portland Press Herald)
• Maine’s Public Utilities Commission held its third and final public hearing on the project Wednesday night. (Maine Public)

UTILITIES: In a Q&A, Connecticut’s chief cybersecurity risk officer says distributed generation creates new entry points for hackers to exploit. (Energy News Network)

OIL & GAS:
• Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has told officials from New Hampshire, Maryland, Maine and a handful of other coastal states that they will be “pleased” or “happy” with the Trump administration’s final plan to expand offshore drilling. (Offshore Engineer)
• Con Edison wants to spend $305 million to reduce peak natural gas consumption while still pursuing additional gas pipeline capacity in the greater New York City area.

South Carolina will open bids for state-owned utility

NUCLEAR: South Carolina lawmakers hire a consulting firm to study and field offers to buy state-owned utility Santee Cooper. (News & Observer)

ALSO: A federal appeals court rules the Energy Department can stop construction of a nuclear fuel factory in South Carolina. (Construction Dive)

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RENEWABLES: Dominion Energy requests input from commercial, industrial and government customers in Virginia about its renewable energy plan. (Power Engineering)

SOLAR:
• Kentucky Power says it wants to add up to 20 MW of solar energy to meet growing customer interest.

Washington coal export plan resurfaces with new federal review

COAL: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has revived an environmental review of a proposed Washington coal export terminal a year after state regulators nixed a key project permit. (Associated Press)

ALSO:
• Despite earlier threats by state leaders to sever ties, Wyoming is still doing business with a bank that recently stopped investing in fossil fuels, sparking a wave of backlash in coal country. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• As a major Western coal company files for bankruptcy, Wyoming leaders in worry about how it and other faltering fossil fuel companies will continue to pay taxes. (WyoFile)

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Coastal states now hopeful for offshore drilling exemptions

OFFSHORE DRILLING: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he may exempt at least six states from the Trump administration’s plan to expand offshore drilling. (Reuters)

COAL:
• “The boss wants what the boss wants.” A plan to prop up struggling coal plants could still survive despite a lack of support within federal government and the energy industry. (E&E News, subscription)
• The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revives an environmental review for a proposed Washington coal export terminal a year after state regulators nixed a key project permit. (Associated Press)
• Despite earlier threats by state leaders to sever ties, Wyoming is still doing business with a bank that recently stopped investing in fossil fuels, sparking a wave of backlash in coal country. (Casper Star-Tribune)

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PIPELINES:
• FERC allows Dominion Energy to start cutting trees on the site of a planned natural gas compressor station in Virginia.