Midwest Energy News

Advocates: Midwest utilities could make stronger push for renewables

RENEWABLES: Midwest utilities are transitioning from coal while promising more renewables, but some advocates say the efforts are underwhelming. (Greentech Media)

• Coal mines, including several in Illinois and Indiana, account for about one-tenth of U.S. methane pollution, an investigation finds. (Climate Home)
• Indiana’s consumer counsel criticizes Vectren’s plan to retire most of its coal generation and replace it with an 850 MW natural gas plant in 2023. (Platts)

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• Saltwater spills related to oil production are damaging North Dakota farmland. (NBC News)
• Developers have played an outsized role with political spending in states like North Dakota since the shale-drilling boom started 10 years ago. (E&E News)

PIPELINES: Top federal officials will testify in Michigan next week on preparedness for responding to an oil spill in the Straits of Mackinac. (MLive)

• Some northern Illinois residents build opposition to plans for four utility-scale solar projects. (Freeport Journal Standard)
• Rooftop solar will meet one-third of the energy needs at a new apartment complex in downtown Evansville, Indiana. (Evansville Courier & Press)

POWER PLANTS: DTE Energy plans to break ground next week on a $1 billion, 1,150 MW natural gas plant in eastern Michigan. (Port Huron Times Herald)

• An offshore wind project in Lake Erie could prove whether turbines can withstand ice buildup. (Scientific American)
• One-third of Westar Energy’s portfolio is now made up of wind energy. (WIBW)
• An eastern North Dakota wind project helps pay for a new community hall and provides other local benefits. (Jamestown Sun)

BIOFUELS: Industry groups remain concerned over the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard following a visit to Iowa by EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

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FOSSIL FUELS: Energy Secretary Rick Perry applauds North Dakota for its leadership in developing coal, oil and gas resources along with renewables as part of an “all of the above” energy strategy. (Bismarck Tribune)

• An Iowa editorial board recognizes Sen. Chuck Grassley for his efforts in helping launch the U.S. wind energy industry. (Fort Dodge Messenger)
• The Union of Concerned Scientists says Illinois’ ongoing grid study should provide an “actionable roadmap of clean energy options,” including increased energy storage deployment.

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