Daily digest

2015 was a ‘period of significant growth’ for Wisconsin solar

RENEWABLE STANDARDS: Advocates in Michigan say the declining prices of renewable energy make the case for expanding state clean-energy standards. (Midwest Energy News)

CLEAN POWER PLAN: In a victory for clean energy supporters, a federal appeals court blocks attempts to halt the Clean Power Plan while a separate lawsuit moves through the courts. (New York Times)

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SOLAR:
• 2015 was a “period of significant growth” for Wisconsin’s solar industry, while utilities and advocates are optimistic for more growth this year. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Analysts say utilities may find business opportunities in distributed rooftop solar if they act proactively, particularly on customer relationships. (Utility Dive)
An Illinois electric cooperative is using solar power to supplement its coal and gas supplies to members. (Journal Gazette & Times-Courier)

EMISSIONS: The U.S. EPA plans to unveil a suite of methane regulations this spring for new oil and gas operations, but officials say there are no plans yet for national rules on existing facilities. (Greenwire)

EFFICIENCY: A Vermont utility CEO tells a crowd of clean-energy supporters in Wisconsin that the company has promoted efficiency while also reducing rates. Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell spoke with Midwest Energy News earlier this week. (Wisconsin State Journal)

OIL AND GAS:
• The decline in oil prices has failed to boost the U.S. economy as it had in years past. (New York Times)
A North Dakota landowner continues his legal battle against a major oil pipeline developer over the proposed Sandpiper project. (Huffington Post)

COAL:
• Peabody Energy will sell its last remaining stake in the Prairie State Energy Campus as a way to divest “noncore assets.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Consumer advocates are seeking public comment on a planned $1.8 billion coal-gasification project in southwest Indiana. (Associated Press)

RENEWABLES: A Nevada-based company plans to power a new data center in Michigan with 100 percent renewables. (MLive)

PIPELINES: Advocates rally at the Iowa Capitol calling for public hearings before a decision is made on whether to approve the Dakota Access pipeline. Iowa is the last state needed for approval. (Radio Iowa)

CLIMATE: Researchers say climate change has exacerbated the public health impacts of air pollution over the past several decades. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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RATES: Consumer advocates in Ohio are concerned that AEP may have double-charged customers by over $100 million related to certain fuel costs. (Columbus Dispatch)

COMMENTARY:
• President Obama’s decision to halt new coal-mine leases on public lands is “executive overreach” and will be a “major blow” to North Dakota’s economy. (Bismarck Tribune)
Peabody Energy’s decision to sell its remaining assets in the Prairie State Energy Campus is the “latest indication that the project has failed.” (Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis)

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