Daily digest

Advocates hope Lake Erie project sparks interest in offshore wind

MICHIGAN: The executive director of the Michigan Agency for Energy discusses the future of an oil and gas pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac as well as the state’s clean energy potential. (Midwest Energy News)

WIND:
• Advocates hope an offshore wind project under development in Lake Erie will spark projects elsewhere in the Great Lakes after interest peaked nearly 10 years ago. (Ensia)
• A wind turbine manufacturing plant in South Dakota will stay open longer than planned after receiving a “substantial new order” from two companies. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

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POLLUTION: Eight northeastern states sue the U.S. EPA in an effort to clamp down on air pollution from states to the west including Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. (Quartz)

OIL AND GAS:
• Some advocates are questioning a move by Michigan’s largest municipal utility to build a $500 million natural gas plant to replace its coal units, calling the decision premature and risky. (Lansing City Pulse)
• A lawsuit could stall the construction of a second $900 million natural gas plant at an energy park in northeast Ohio. (Youngstown Vindicator)
• An industry group says the Dakota Access pipeline helped return North Dakota to near-record production levels in 2017. (Bismarck Tribune)

UTILITIES:
• State utility regulators in South Dakota are requiring investor-owned companies to show how ratepayers could see savings under the new federal tax plan with a lower corporate income tax rate. (Rapid City Journal)
• Some Ohio ratepayers are still unhappy with the way companies that re-sell electricity are regulated. (Columbus Dispatch)

PIPELINES:
• A decision on whether to approve the Line 3 replacement and expansion project in northern Minnesota is delayed so an environmental impact report can be revised. (Associated Press)
• The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will review its pipeline approval process that was adopted in 1999. (RTO Insider)

CLIMATE: St. Paul, Minnesota is among the latest cities to join Chicago’s climate change pact. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• The Michigan Public Service Commission says an increasing number of residents are producing their own power under net metering agreements. (Associated Press)
• The University of Illinois considers expanding a 21-acre solar project in order to meet new climate change goals. (Associated Press)
• Missouri-based SunEdison emerges from bankruptcy. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

BIOFUELS:
• An industry group says Iowa’s 43 ethanol plants produced a record 4.2 billion gallons in 2017 mostly due to plant expansions, increased demand, and higher blends. (Quad-City Times)
• A renewable fuels association is partnering with a conservation group in Iowa to promote the growth of pollinator plants at biofuel production sites. (Radio Iowa)

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COAL:
• Ohio and other Appalachian coal states hope tourism can help rebuild the local economy by tapping into their histories and countering narratives portrayed in the media. (Associated Press)
• Freezing temperatures across the Great Plains and Midwest have led to a spike in coal and oil demand. (Bloomberg)

EFFICIENCY: A new combined heat and power plant at the University of Minnesota is designed to save the school $2 million a year in energy costs. (Associated Press)

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