Midwest Energy News

99-megawatt project would more than double Illinois’ solar capacity

SOLAR:
• A 99-megawatt solar project in southern Illinois would be the state’s largest and more than double the state’s solar capacity. (Southern Illinoisan)
• Plans for a solar project on 22 acres of farmland in western Illinois are off the table following opposition from landowners. (OurQuadCities.com)

CLIMATE: A Minneapolis suburb moves forward with a climate action plan, thanks in part to the activism of high school students. (Midwest Energy News)

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EFFICIENCY: Some Iowa lawmakers say they are not getting enough information from the state’s Energy Office about a sweeping proposal to scale back the state’s energy efficiency program. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

UTILITIES:
• Federal regulators approve a plan to refund Michigan ratepayers $24.6 million in overcharges related to keeping a coal plant open in the Upper Peninsula. See here for background. (RTO Insider, Midwest Energy News)
• Xcel Energy could save about $30 million a year in Wisconsin and $140 million in Minnesota under federal tax reform, which will likely flow back to customers. (Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Minneapolis Star Tribune)
• Consumer advocates say Ohio utility regulators should consider the financial impacts of federal tax reform as well as a recent court ruling on refunds of utility charges before deciding a rate case for American Electric Power. (Columbus Dispatch)

WIND: Residents and local officials weigh the pros and cons of a proposed wind project in northern Indiana. (Logansport Pharos-Tribune)

COAL ASH: A southeastern Indiana city looks to block plans by a company to store fly ash from power plants in Ohio. (WLWT)

OIL AND GAS:
• A group tries for a seventh time to get an initiative on local ballots to ban fracking in Youngstown, Ohio. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• North Dakota asks a judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a new law related to the ownership of oil and gas minerals beneath Lake Sakakawea. (Bismarck Tribune)
• A metro Detroit company faces opposition from landowners over plans to build a natural gas power plant in south-central Michigan. (MLive)
• North Dakota regulators postpone a public hearing on a proposed $1.8 million natural gas pipeline project. (Bismarck Tribune)

POLITICS: A congressional district in western Minnesota is being closely watched for its potential to flip to Republicans in this year’s midterm election, which will likely have an increased focus on energy and environmental issues. (E&E News, subscription)

GRID: Regional grid operator PJM says it faces an “unprecedented” transition with coal plant closures while also trying to build out new transmission infrastructure. (RTO Insider)

PIPELINES: The Dakota Access pipeline developer is gauging the oil industry’s interest in shipping additional oil from the Bakken to the Gulf Coast. (Bismarck Tribune)

***SPONSORED LINK: Midwest Energy Research Consortium (M-WERC) presents an event examining the trends and key issues driving energy efficiency in Wisconsin and surrounding states. Join M-WERC, our members, partners and invited guests on Thursday, April 19 in Milwaukee to explore energy efficiency program and technologies. Learn more and register to attend here!***

COAL: New projections from the Energy Information Administration show coal is in a “secular decline,” analysts say. (The Hill)

COMMENTARY: A report from Illinois regulators saying the state has plenty of generation even without Dynegy’s coal plants suggests ratepayer support is not needed for the plants, advocates say. (Environmental Defense Fund)

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